Every time a Kenton Ridge baseball player gets drafted, a new sign with the player’s name goes up on the outfield fence at Tom Randall Field, and it might get even more crowded this week.
Kenton Ridge graduate Derek Toadvine, who just completed his junior season at Kent State, said he’s been told he could be drafted anywhere from the sixth to the 12th round on Friday or Saturday.
“Coach (Scott) Zerkle said (head coach Aaron) Shaffer’s going to be a little mad having to rearrange the signs,” Toadvine joked.
Toadvine was a freshman in 2007 when the last Cougar to be drafted, Adam Eaton, was a senior. Eaton, who made his big- league debut last September with the Diamondbacks, was drafted in the 19th round in 2010. Kenton Ridge has had three other players make the big leagues: pitchers Dave Burba, Rick White and Dustin Hermanson. Ohio State head coach Greg Beals, another Cougar who was also drafted, has his name on the fence, too.
“It’s kind of a reality check,” Toadvine said. “I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old. As a kid growing up, you want to be a professional athlete. It’s unreal really.”
Toadvine hit .297 with a .382 on-base percentage this season with the Golden Flashes and led the team and ranked second in the Mid-American Conference with 58 runs scored and 29 stolen bases. He improved his numbers across the board from last season (.244 batting average, .305 on-base percentage, 35 runs scored, eight stolen bases).
Toadvine was named to the All-MAC tournament team after hitting .471 in four games, though the Flashes failed to repeat as MAC champions. Last year, they advanced all the way to the College World Series.
The first two rounds of the draft are tonight. Rounds three through 10 take place Friday, and the remaining rounds are Saturday.
Toadvine said the Yankees, Marlins and Cubs have shown the most interest. He worked out for the Yankees on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla.
Toadvine played second base at Kent State, but he’s considered a utility player in that he could also play the outfield. In the workout, with seven other players, he threw three balls from the outfield to third base and then three to home, took ground balls in the infield, turned some double plays and took batting practice against live pitching.
“I was pretty nervous,” Toadvine said. “I just wanted to go down there and improve my draft stock. Hopefully, everything pans out. I had really good at-bats.”