CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Steam is very proud to announce that two players with ties to the program have been selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Jake Kelzer from Indiana University was selected by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round while Xavier’s Vinny Nittoli was taken in the 25th round by the Seattle Marriners.
The Steam have now had 29 players that have signed a letter of intent to play for the team be selected in the MLB Draft during the nine years of the franchise’s existence.
Kelzer was committed to pitch for the Steam this summer which would have been his first with the team. However, during his exit interview with the Indiana coaching staff its was agreed that he should be shut down due to an excessive innings workload. This is not an uncommon practice for college coaches not wanting to risk injury for a pitcher that has worked a high number of innings during the spring.
Kelzer is a redshirt freshman from Bloomington, Indiana, however he is draft-eligible because of the fact that his 21st birthday is at the end of this month. At this point, it is uncertain whether he will sign with Yankees or return to Indiana.
During the spring for the Hoosiers, Kelzer worked exclusively out of the bullpen going 1-3 with a 3.13 ERA in 25 appearances. In 31.2 innings of work, Kelzer struck out 44 batters and issued just nine walks. He recorded a five-out save in the NCAA regionals against Stanford on May 31.
Nittoli played for the Steam in the 2013 summer season. In five appearances, all as a starting pitcher, he recorded a 2-2 record with a 3.15 ERA. In 25.2 innings of work Nittoli strike out 28 batters and issued seven walks.
In the Spring 2014 season for Xavier, Nittoli lead the Musketeers with a 2.38 ERA. The fifth-year senior from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania earned a victory in the Big East Tournament against St. John’s helping lead the team to a Conference Tournament championship and just the school’s second even trip to the NCAA Tournament. He also made 30 starts as an outfielder/designated hitter hitting .273 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.
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The Cincinnati Steam is a member of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. The GLSCL is a nine-team league sanctioned by the NCAA and partially funded by Major League Baseball entering its 27th season and is based in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky.