Former San Marino resident Joey Steele had a historic season with the University of San Francisco’s baseball team in his final year and a Major League Baseball team took notice.
Steele, who graduated from St. Francis High School in 2014, tied the program’s season record in saves and was recently selected in the 30th round in the MLB First-Year Players Draft by the Miami Marlins. The former Golden Knight was the 891st overall pick and one of two Dons to be taken in the draft. Teammate Jonathan Allen was selected in the 32nd round by the Chicago White Sox.
“I’m so very proud of Joey and John having the opportunity to live out a childhood dream for all,” San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano said in a release. “They have represented USF very well during their careers on The Hilltop. We will be rooting for them, as we do all our alums and graduates. They have given us some wonderful moments in the green and gold uniform.”
The 6-2 right-hander is coming off a stellar campaign in which he recorded a team-record 11 saves with an earned run average of 5.91 and a record of 1-4.
He struck out 54 in 35 innings of work and only walked 13 batters this season.
Steele has worked mostly out of the bullpen throughout his four-year career with the Dons. He started only three games and struck out 110 hitters in 99 innings.
As a Golden Knight, Steele was limited to only 23 innings as a senior, striking out 13 and surrendering seven runs. His best campaign was as a junior when he posted an ERA of 3.08 and struck out 44 in 50 innings of work. He attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Forida, for a year before going to USF.
Steele, who also competed with the Arroyo Seco Saints, had a solid sophomore season at USF and finished the year with a team-best strand rate of 87%, allowing only two of 15 inherited runners to score.
The standout pitcher signed a contract with the Marlins organization less than a week after the draft.