Camacho, Thompson Headline Handful of Baseball Draft Hopefuls
Roche, Kemp and Co. look for late-round selections
Thanks to his left-handed prowess, Camacho has an excellent chance to be the first Raven take in this week's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
RINDGE, N.H. (June 4, 2012) – Several members of the Franklin Pierce University baseball team will be waiting by the phone this week, as they hope to be selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, scheduled for Monday through Wednesday, June 4-6. Junior left-hander Vladimir Camacho (Jamaica Plain, N.Y.) and sophomore right-hander Ryan Thompson (Calgary, Alberta) could be selected as high as the top half of the 40-round draft, while graduate student center fielder James Roche (Arlington, Mass.), junior shortstop Dan Kemp (Sturbridge, Mass.) and others are all potential late-round selections.
The 31-pick first round of the draft and a 29-selection compensatory round take place beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday and will be televised live across the country on MLB Network. The draft resumes at noon on Tuesday for rounds 2-15 and wraps up Wednesday with rounds 16-40, also beginning at noon. Coverage of the second two days of the draft will be available through mlb.com. The second round has 35 selections, while all remaining rounds have 30 picks each, one for each MLB team. A second, three-pick compensatory round is scheduled between the third and fourth rounds. The new MLB collective bargaining agreement signed last November trimmed the Draft from 50 to 40 rounds and significantly restricted the amount of money teams are able to spend on signing their Draft picks.
Camacho is generally considered likely to be the first Raven to come off the board this week. Left-handed pitchers are always in heavy demand, especially those who can work in the 90s and throw a breaking ball for strikes. A jack-of-all-trades on the Franklin Pierce pitching staff this year, Camacho racked up 65 strikeouts while throwing 66.1 innings in 16 appearances, including five starts. He went 4-1 with one save, a 3.66 earned-run average and a 1.37 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched).
Both a consensus All-America First-Team selection and the consensus East Region Pitcher of the Year a year ago, Thompson will be looking for his second draft selection in 2012. He was picked by the New York Yankees in the 36th round (1,109 overall) last summer, but returned to school for his junior season. After shaking off early injury trouble, he chalked up 51 strikeouts over 57 innings in nine starts and four relief appearances. He finished 5-2 with one save and one complete game, while posting a 3.47 earned-run average and a 1.35 WHIP. Thompson returned to his 2011 form down the stretch in 2012, as he recorded 28 strikeouts over 29 innings (8.69 strikeouts per nine innings) over his final four starts of the season. He features a high-80s/low-90s sinking fastball, a slider and a changeup which he has continually improved over the last two seasons.
Camacho and Thompson were two of three players from New Hampshire schools projected as mid-round selections (rounds 11-25) by Perfect Game USA in its Draft preview. Thompson is eventually expected to earn a chance to start at the next level, while Camacho profiles as left-handed firepower out of the bullpen. Before the season, Thompson was listed sixth among all Division II prospects by Perfect Game USA. The third New Hampshire player highlighted in Perfect Game USA's Draft preview was Southern New Hampshire junior left-hander Tim Flight, the consensus East Region Pitcher of the Year, who has a strong chance to be the first Northeast-10 Conference player selected this week.
The later rounds of the draft are anybody's guess, but Roche and Kemp seem to have as strong a case as anybody to hear their names called by Major League teams.
Roche compiled one of the most prolific offensive single seasons in program history in his final year of eligibility. For his efforts, he was a consensus All-America selection, including a First-Team selection from the ABCA, in addition to consensus All-East Region First Team honors. He finished his career as a three-time All-Region selection and a four-time All-Northeast-10 selection.
Kemp enjoyed an offensive resurgence in 2012, as he hit .319/.374/.466 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and finished third on the team with seven home runs, earning the second spot in the batting order along the way. He hit 11 doubles and a triple, while scoring 49 runs and driving in 35 over 232 at-bats. Kemp has a history of appealing to scouts, as he was selected out of Tantasqua Regional High School by the Boston Red Sox in the 24th round (738 overall) of the 2009 Draft before heading for Franklin Pierce.
Roche, Kemp, junior right fielder Nick LaCroix (Grafton, Mass.), junior right-hander Joe Flynn (Plymouth, Mass.) and sophomore right-hander Rob Blanc (Sandy Hook, Conn.) were all listed by Perfect Game USA as "possible late-round selections/solid college prospects)", along with 11 other student-athletes from various New Hampshire schools.
Franklin Pierce has had 21 draft selections in program history, beginning with Justin Blood in 2001, and has had at least one player taken each year thereafter. Since that first selection, only Boston College (38) and Connecticut (34) have had more draftees among New England schools, regardless of division. Franklin Pierce is the only New England school to have at least one player selected every year since 2001.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).