Newark, NY — Four former members of the Newark Pilots of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) heard their names called during this week’s 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Marist College senior Steve Laurino (2013), Morehead State University senior Kane Sweeney (2012), Eastern Florida State College sophomore Luis Silverio (2014) and Valparaiso University junior Drew Hasler (2013) were each chosen on the final day of the MLB Draft on Wednesday.
Laurino, a 6-3, 230-pound first baseman, was picked by the Baltimore Orioles in the 25th round. A team captain for Marist in his senior season, he finished second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in batting average (.358), third in on-base percentage (.442) and fifth in slugging percentage (.561) en route to Second-Team All-MAAC honors. Laurino finished second on the Pilots with a .336 batting average in 40 starts and was named to the 2013 PGCBL All-Star Game.
The New York Yankees drafted Sweeney, a power-hitting first baseman, in the 29th round. At 6-3, 220 pounds, Sweeney earned First-Team All-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) after leading Morehead State with 15 home runs while batting .353 in his senior season. He ranked second in the OVC in on-base percentage (.482) thanks in part to his patience at the plate; he walked 53 times compared to 48 strikeouts. Sweeney appeared in five games for the Pilots in 2012 and drove in four runs.
Silverio was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 33rd round. The 6-3 sophomore outfielder led Eastern Florida State with a .338 average and 21 stolen bases this spring. He hit for the cycle against the Community College of Baltimore County on February 16. In 31 games last summer with the Pilots, the 2014 PGCBL All-Star hit at a .292 clip and was tied for the team lead with three home runs. His older brother, Louis, was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 33rd round of the 2014 MLB Draft after playing in three games for Newark last season.
Hasler, a 6-6 right-handed pitcher from Valparaiso, was chosen by the White Sox in the 34th round. He started seven games for the Pilots in 2013 and went 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA. He went the distance in two of his starts and fanned 26 in 43.0 innings of work. Hasler appeared in 11 games in his junior campaign for the Crusaders, highlighted by four scoreless innings of relief against Notre Dame on April 8 and three more against Purdue on May 12.
Since the team was established in 2011, the Newark Pilots have had eight players drafted into the pros and one signed as an undrafted free agent. The PGCBL saw a record 43 alumni drafted this summer, and overall in the last five drafts, a total of 156 former PGCBL players have been selected.