Baseball: Drafted Huskies start professional careers

Baseball: Drafted Huskies start professional careers

On June 6 four members of the Northeastern baseball team heard their names called at the 2006 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, and now all four have signed professional contracts with their respective teams.

Junior ace Adam Ottavino was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round. He was the 23rd draft pick to sign with the team after inking the deal Friday.

“Everything was pretty much agreed on before the draft,” Ottavino said. “We got all the small details worked out and I went to Florida for a one-day mini-camp.”

The Brooklyn, N.Y. native was assigned to the Cardinal’s New York-Penn league affiliate, the State College Spikes, whose season began yesterday.

“Adam is a Cardinal now and we look forward to a highly productive career from him,” said Jeff Lunhow, Cardinal’s vice president of player procurement.

Ottavino will get his first start Saturday.

“I am less nervous about this start than my first college start, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I think the jump from high school to college is bigger than this jump. I am more prepared and I know what to expect.”

The junior has three semesters of college left, but is taking a year off before returning to Northeastern.

“The Cardinals are going to pay for school, but I need to take this time off to focus on baseball,” Ottavino said. “I will come back soon, just not right away.”

Junior Dave Pellegrine was the Huskies’ number two pitcher behind Ottavino. He was also the second Husky to ink a professional contract after the draft. Taken in the 11th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Pellegrine will report to Orem, Utah, home of the Angel’s Pioneer League team, the Orem Owlz.

“Right after the draft I talked to my agent and we worked on getting the best possible deal and allowing me to start my professional career as soon as possible,” Pellegrine said.

Like Ottavino, Pellegrine plans on taking time off to focus on baseball before returning to Northeastern to graduate.

“School is really important to my family and me,” he said. “The end of my summer season is mid-September and hopefully I will be able to come back and take some classes.”

Catcher Matt Morizio will face his former teammate Pellegrine July 1, when the Owlz play the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Pioneer League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

“It will be fun being on the other side of [Pellegrine’s] pitching,” said Morizio, who caught for Pellegrine this season. “Plus it will be good to see a friend.”

The Royals drafted Morizio in the 17th round.

“I signed the Sunday following the draft,” Morizio said. “Then last Thursday I flew out to Idaho and worked out with the team all weekend. Now I am in Casper, Wyoming getting ready for our first game tonight.”

The Pioneer League season began yesterday.

The final Husky drafted in 2006 was outfielder Chris Emanuele. The Ontario native was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays and assigned to the Pulaski Blue Jays, of the Appalachian League. His season begins today.

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