By TOM WILLIAMS
Ocean City High School graduate Sean Mooney was drafted today by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.
The junior at St. John’s University will sign.
“My plan was to sign if I got drafted,” Mooney said. “I’m ready to get down to Fort Myers and get back to throwing.”
Mooney had Tommy John surgery on April 23 and is currently in rehab. “The arm is moving well and my training is progressing.”
Mooney was 21-6 in less than three seasons at St. John’s with a 2.13 earned run average. He struck out 249 and walked 72 in 244 innings while limiting opposing hitters to a .204 batting average. He led St. John’s into the NCAA Tournament each of his first two years, was Big East Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year in 2017, was one of five finalists for National Pitcher of the Year in 2018 and was an All-American each of his first two seasons. He was 2-1 this season in nine starts before his injury with a 2.17 ERA.
“I’m really excited,” Mooney said. “Being drafted is an unbelievable feeling.”
Mooney should be considered the best baseball player in OCHS history. He holds school career record for wins (26), winning percentage (.867) and strikeouts (302) plus wins in a season (9) and strikeouts in a game (17). He was also very effective at the plate, holding school career records for hits (103), RBIs (65), doubles (27) and home runs (12).
“Sean’s demeanor was special,” said Craig Mensinger, his high school coach. “You could see it right away. No moment was too big for him. As a freshman, he was our closer. We could bring him into any situation and he would succeed. And he only got better each year.”
This marked the second straight year that an Ocean City pitcher was selected in the 12th round. Dan Nunan was selected right out of high school last year by the Los Angeles Angels. Nunan was on the injured list last summer and his minor league career will begin June 17 with the Angels team in the Arizona League.
A lot of successful major leaguers were selected in the late rounds of the draft. Albert Pujols and Jim Thome were 13th round picks, Dave Parker went in the 14th, Jose Canseco in the 15th, Buddy Bell in the 16th, Kenny Lofton and Orel Hershiser in the 17th, Bret Saberhagen and Don Mattingly in the 19th, Ryne Sandberg in the 20th, John Smoltz and Andy Pettitte in the 22nd and Darren Daulton in the 25th.
One other pitcher was selected in the 12th round, by the Mets in 1965 – Nolan Ryan.
Sean Mooney, now of the Minnesota Twins, continues to put Ocean City on the baseball map.