HOLYOKE – For the first time in the history of the franchise, a Blue Sox player has been taken in the first round, as 2012 alumnus Max Pentecost was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 11th overall selection in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft on June 5.
Pentecost was one of the key players on the 2012 Blue Sox, batting .303 and leading the team with 27 runs scored in 37 games played. His stellar play got him named the 18th best prospect in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) at the time.
“We’re extremely proud of Max and everything he has been able to accomplish and look forward to watching his professional career blossom,” Blue Sox owner Clark Eckhoff said. “None of us are surprised that he would be taken this high in the Draft, and it just provides proof that when you come to see the Blue Sox play, you’re seeing future professional baseball players.”
Since playing in Holyoke, Pentecost’s stock continued to rise. He won the Cape Cod Baseball League MVP for the Bourne Braves by hitting .346 with 6 home runs and 29 RBI in 35 games and racking up a .962 OPS the following summer, and this year he has led Kennesaw State University to the NCAA Super Regional, batting a scorching .423 with 110 hits, including 23 doubles, nine home runs, and 58 RBI, along with 17 stolen bases, and has been named a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award for the top collegiate catcher as well as the Dick Howser Award for the top collegiate baseball player.
The Atlantic Sun Conference's Player of the Year has a nation-best 35 game hitting streak going as well.
The 2014 season will represent the Blue Sox seventh season in the Pioneer Valley, playing at Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke.
The Blue Sox have been a member of the NECBL (www.necbl.com
) since 2008. The NECBL is funded in part by Major League Baseball and is comprised of 12 teams throughout all six New England states who recruit the elite athletes and premier pro prospects from around the world.