TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa baseball program was represented by four Spartans in the 2019 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. This marks the 17th consecutive MLB Draft in which a Spartan has been selected.
A total of four players were selected, including Sammy Peralta in the 18th round by the Chicago White Sox, Yorvis Torrealba in the 20th round by the Colorado Rockies, Keven Pimentel in the 28th round by the Colorado Rockies, and Tyler Beck in 30th round by the Minnesota Twins.
Peralta, a junior left-handed pitcher from Orlando, Fla., was the first UT player to be selected in the 2019 MLB Draft. The southpaw's made 21 appearances on the year, strictly out of the bullpen, and he's earned a 1-2 record (5.59 ERA) with two saves. The 18th-round selection for the White Sox has logged 65 strikeouts, owning a 15.81 strikeout-per-nine ratio, and allowed 25 walks in 37.0 innings pitched. He's pitched at least three innings in four appearances, including a season-high 4.1 IP against Florida Southern on May 10. In that conference matchup, the reliever also recorded a season-high 11 strikeouts. The international business student transferred from Palm Beach State College, where he went 4-0 (3.71 ERA) with 55 strikeouts in 51.0 innings pitched as a sophomore. In high school, he was named Osceola News-Gazette Baseball Player of the Year after leading Gateway HS to a regional final appearance.
Torrealba, a junior outfielder from Parkland, Fla., transferred to the University of Tampa after attending the College of Central Florida for his sophomore year. This year at UT, he's racked up a list of accolades: ABCA/D2CCA All-American, NCBWA/D2CCA South Region Player of the Year, SSC Player of the Year and earned a first-team selection in the Sunshine State Conference. The right-handed transfer sports a .403 batting average in 206 at-bats, while leading the team in hits (83), HR's (11), 2B's (15), runs scored (59), and stolen bases (25). Against SSC pitching, he led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging with a .426/.539/.689 slash line. Entering postseason play, the Spartans' leadoff hitter ranked 14th in the nation in batting average (.420). His father, Yorvit, played for the Rockies for five seasons (2006-2009, 2013).
Pimentel, a senior pitcher from Huntington Station, N.Y., has been the Spartans' ace for two seasons after spending two years at the University of Miami. The 6'3" right-hander has accumulated 12 wins in 18 starts, posting a 2.64 ERA in 112.2 innings pitched in 2019. The Spartans' workhorse has logged 106 strikeouts and allowed only 32 walks. In two seasons at UT, the 28th-round selection's overall record stands at 21-4 in 32 starts, with 169 punch-outs in 190.2 IP while walking only 48 batters. His strikeout-per-nine ratio sits at 7.98 at the University of Tampa. He went a complete game, for the first time in his career, in a 3-1 victory over No. 5 Delta State in the 2019 NCAA South Super Regional on May 24. In three postseason games this year, he's pitched 23 innings, struck-out 17 batters and allowed only two earned runs; resulting in two victories, along with a no-decision in game one of the NCAA Championship Series. He earned NCWBA/D2CCA All-South Region first team, as well as being named first-team All-SSC in both years at UT. In his two years at UM, he made 33 appearances and struck-out 40 batters in 57.1 innings pitched.
Beck, a senior pitcher from South Bend, Ind., has found his role as the team's primary closer as he's recorded 10 saves this season. In his second season at UT, the right-hander has earned a 3-3 record (2.17 ERA) in 24 appearances while registering 71 strikeouts in 54.0 innings pitched. An effective arm out of the pen, the 2019 SSC first-team selection has allowed only 19 walks and owns an 11.83 strikeout-per-nine ratio. He went five innings against No. 27 Nova Southeastern and received the win, in extra innings, to clinch the NCAA South I Region. Out of high school, the Indiana native committed to Purdue University and he red-shirted before transferring to Pasco-Hernando State College for two seasons. At PHSC, he appeared in 27 games (20 starts) and totaled 118 strikeouts in 110.0 innings.
The University of Tampa baseball program has produced a total of 93 selections in the MLB Draft, including 73 under current head coach Joe Urso. Since the 2006 campaign, Tampa's had 65 draft picks along with four NCAA Division II National Championships. The Spartans are seeking their eighth National Championship this week in Cary, N.C., as they've advanced to the Winners Bracket final on June 6 at 3:00 p.m.
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