BOCA RATON, Fla. – Just one year after believing his career could be over, Lynn University's Rigo Beltran has extended his baseball life following his selection by the Seattle Mariners in the 2018 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. The senior pitcher was the 14th pick, 928th overall, of the 31st round on Wednesday afternoon.
Beltran becomes the eighth player selected from Lynn in the last 10 years and 10th since 2003. He is the first Lynn pitcher drafted since Max Watt in 2015.
The local Delray Beach, Fla., product bounced back from an injury-shortened 2017 season with a career-best year in 2018. Beltran racked up 87 strikeouts in 87.2 innings with just 30 walks while going 6-2 with a 3.18 earned run average. The southpaw delivered eight quality starts of 6.0 innings or more with three or less earned runs allowed and finished among the Sunshine State Conference leaders in wins and K's.
Beltran saved his best out of the season for his final game in the Blue and White, working a career-high eight innings while fanning 10 on the road against Palm Beach Atlantic. All of this coming after an injury sidelined him early in the 2017 season and thoughts of his career being over.
Under head coach Rudy Garbalosa, 10 players have been drafted, with eight more signing free agent deals with MLB clubs. The list of Blue and White draftees includes: Beltran, Tyler Curtis (2017, Miami Marlins – 23rd round), Max Watt (2015, Boston Red Sox – 22nd round), Sal Giardina (2014, Atlanta Braves – 31st round), Ryan Gibbard (2012, Milwaukee Brewers – 14th round), Andrew Virgili (2011, Chicago White Sox – 11th round), Tommy Kahnle (2010, New York Yankees – 5th round); Gabe MacDougall (2009, Kansas City Royals – 27th round), Nolan Mulligan (2007, Philadelphia Phillies – 26th round) and Beau McMillan (2003, Florida Marlins – 39th round).
Kahnle became the first Fighting Knight to reach the 'Show' when he made his debut April 3, 2014 for the Colorado Rockies against the Miami Marlins. He is now a reliever for the New York Yankees. Giardina is currently playing for the Brave's Class AAA affiliate team, the Gwinnett Stripers, and John Silviano (free agent signee in 2016) is a member of the Miami Marlins Class A affiliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads.
Lynn went 22-28 overall and 9-21 in the SSC in 2017. The Fighting Knights graduate 11 seniors, including Beltran and consensus All-American Patrick Dorrian.