By: Shane Petagna (The University of Tampa)
From the stage at Lumen Field in Seattle, three former Kettleers heard their names called and saw their childhood dreams come true at the 2023 MLB Draft.
Tommy Troy was the first off the board, with the Arizona Diamondbacks selecting him No. 12 overall. Troy won the Robert A. McNeese Outstanding Pro Prospect Award out of Stanford for Cotuit in 2022. The infielder from Los Gatos, Calif. has hit everywhere he’s played as a collegiate hitter, from the Northwoods League to three College World Series appearances with the Cardinal, and two summers on the Cape.
After playing with the Wareham Gatemen in the summer of 2021, Troy hit .310 with a .917 OPS along with 5 long balls in his 30 games with Cotuit. He also won the Home Run Hitting Contest at the All-Star Game in Wareham.
In college, Troy was a career .338 batter and finished with an outrageous .699 slugging percentage and 1.107 OPS this spring. He won the 2023 Pac-12 Batting Title with a .404 average to also be named PAC-12 All-Conference and Third Team All-American by Baseball America.
Enrique Bradfield Jr. was next, going five picks later to the Baltimore Orioles at No. 17 overall. The outfielder from Hialeah, Fla. had a stellar career at Vanderbilt, accumulating a laundry list of accolades with the Commodores.
Bradfield Jr. was the SEC Freshman of the Year and a unanimous Freshman All-American, plus earning consensus All-American honors in his first two collegiate seasons as well as two selections to the NCBWA All-America first team.
Bradfield Jr. had a short stint with the Kettleers in 2022 but brought his speed and defense to the village of the Cotuit. He went a perfect 4-4 on stolen base attempts and notched 7 hits in 11 games. While manning centerfield, Bradfield Jr. posted a 1.000 fielding percentage with 19 putouts.
Left-handed pitcher Joe Whitman was the third Kettleer picked of the evening, going No. 69 overall to the San Francisco Giants. The southpaw won the MAC Pitcher of the Year and was First-Team All-America with Kent State as he struck out 100 batters and allowed two runs or fewer in 13 of 15 starts.
Whitman appeared in two seasons with the Kettleers in 2022 and 2023. Last summer he made two starts and allowed one earned run over 5 2/3 innings pitched. Whitman returned to the Cape and served as Cotuit’s Opening Day starter as he tossed five shutout innings and struck out nine in an 8-6 win over the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
The 2023 MLB Draft will continue on Monday, with rounds 3-10 live-streamed on MLB.com.