The names of 14 former Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) players were called on the second day of the 2021 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Monday, July 12.
Eight different PGCBL teams saw alumni selected between rounds No. 3-10, led by the Amsterdam Mohawks with five picks. The Albany Dutchmen and Newark Pilots also had multiple picks with two apiece. Elmira, Glens Falls, Oneonta, Mohawk Valley, and Utica each had one former player taken on Monday.
Major league franchises from all corners of the country were represented by PGCBL alumni. The Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, and St. Louis Cardinals each chose two former PGCBL ballplayers, while Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland, Los Angeles (AL), Seattle, and New York (AL) had one apiece.
The first player with ties to the PGCBL that was taken was Dylan Smith, a right-handed pitcher from Alabama. Smith appeared in 12 regular-season and two postseason games for the 2019 Amsterdam Mohawks, totaling 41 strikeouts in 28.0 innings of work. Detroit took Smith with the 74th pick in the third round.
The Orioles continued their tradition of drafting PGCBL talent two spots later. With the 76th pick, Baltimore snagged 2019 Oneonta Outlaw John Rhodes of Kentucky. As an Outlaw, Rhodes swung a hot bat, hitting .316 with 24 RBIs and 24 runs scored in 36 games. He joins an organization that already boasts names such as former Mohawk Valley pitcher John Means and former Utica outfielder Cedric Mullins, the starting centerfielder for the American League in this year’s All-Star Game.
Below is the complete list of PGCBL players who were taken on the second day of the 2021 MLB Draft:
Pick 9 (110th overall), Angels: Luke Murphy, RHP, VanderbiltIt’s always news when a Vanderbilt pitcher gets selected, and while Murphy didn’t come with the same focus as starters Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, he was still a crucial piece of the Commodores’ staff. The righty earned the win in a regional-deciding matchup with Georgia Tech this year, then notched a save against East Carolina in super regional play.
Pick 17 (118th overall), Marlins: Tanner Allen, 1B, Mississippi StateAllen, a 2021 college national champion, is also a three-time draftee. He was taken by the Cubs in the 36th round in 2017 out of high school and two years later by the Rockies in the 34th round as a Draft-eligible sophomore. In 2021, the first baseman upped his stock 30 rounds after batting .383/.456/.621 and posting 11 home runs and 66 RBIs in 67 games for the Bulldogs.
Pick 7 (139th overall), Royals: Eric Cerantola, RHP, Mississippi StateBeing drafted is nothing new to Cerantola, in more ways than one. The righty was selected by the Rays in the 30th round in 2018 before going to Mississippi State for his college career. He was also selected in the eighth round of the Ontario Hockey League draft in 2016. While the 2021 season was a struggle -- he posted a 5.71 ERA in 10 games (four starts) -- and Cerantola wasn’t on Mississippi State’s College World Series team, his fastball still reaches 100 mph, and his curveball is a plus pitch.
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