Two years ago, after graduating from Bishop Gorman and hearing his name called late in the major league draft, Donn Roach wanted to sign and start pitching for a living.
Instead, he listened to his parents’ advice and went to college. As it turns out, staying in school was a cool move.
“I’m ecstatic,” Roach said Tuesday, after being selected in the third round by the Los Angeles Angels. “I feel like I did everything I could to get drafted higher.”
Roach, a 6-foot right-hander, was drafted by the Angels in the 40th round in 2008. He spent his freshman year at Arizona, and was the ace of the College of Southern Nevada staff this season.
Roach finished 12-3 with a school-record 142 strikeouts in 111 1/3 innings for the Coyotes. He won CSN’s opening game of the Junior College World Series on May 29, but it was his final appearance.
The Coyotes’ season ended Thursday with a 9-8 loss to Iowa Western — on a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth — and Roach was scheduled to start the next game.
“I teared up a little bit,” he said. “It has been one of the best years of my life. I loved every minute of it. But it’s over now and we’ve got to move on.”
The first to move was freshman slugger Bryce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick by the Washington Nationals on Monday. Seven more CSN players were picked Tuesday, when rounds two through 30 of the 50-round draft were held.
“There were general managers, scouting directors and high-level scouts out there to see Bryce, and they were seeing all of us, which was great,” said Roach, the 115th overall pick. “I think it helped us all, some more than others.”
Sophomore right-hander Kenny McDowall, from Spring Valley, seemed to benefit from his strong postseason. McDowall was an eighth-round pick by the New York Mets.
Coyotes closer Aaron Kurcz, who allowed the season-ending homer, was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 10th round. Kurcz is a right-hander from Durango.
CSN left-handed starter Chasen Shreve (Bonanza) went in the 11th round to the Atlanta Braves, and right-handed reliever Tyler Hanks was picked in the 17th round by the Nationals.
Despite being ineligible at CSN this season, outfielder Jordan Keegan (Silverado) went to the Chicago White Sox in the 24th round.
Bryan Harper (Las Vegas High), a 6-foot-5-inch left-hander for the Coyotes, slipped to the Cubs in the 27th round, 820th overall. He has signed with South Carolina, and would have been drafted higher but could not agree to financial terms, according to CSN coach Tim Chambers.
Roach, given a second chance to sign with the Angels, said this should be his last experience with the draft.
“They know me better than anyone, so negotiations should not be too hard,” he said.