While Vince Voiro’s friends and family were glued to the Major League Baseball draft board waiting for Voiro’s name to be called, the pitcher in question was staying as far away from the computer as possible.
“I wasn’t even watching the draft board, I did that last year and realized how nerve-wracking that could be,” Voiro said. “So I was just hanging out with some friends, and then I started to get some calls and texts from people who were watching the board, and that’s how I found out, actually.”
Fifteen rounds into the draft, Voiro was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 469th pick overall. He became the highest-selected Quaker since Ben Krantz was picked in the 15th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003.
The Athletics, however, were not a team initially on Voiro’s radar.
“I had never even spoken to the scout before, so when he called to say the A’s had picked me it was the first time I even talked with them. But I guess they had seen me play and knew they wanted me. I couldn’t be happier.”
Another California team, the San Diego Padres, selected Voiro in the 47th round (1,433 overall) last year after his breakout junior season.
He chose, however, not to sign with the Padres and returned to Penn for his senior season. The decision proved to be the right one, as Voiro continued to improve on his already impressive numbers, dropping his earned run average from a 4.28 to a 2.45. Voiro also made it into Penn baseball’s record books, listed fifth on the all-time strikeouts list (187) and eighth in total appearances (46). He finished his career as a Quaker with a 4.34 ERA.
“My goal was just to go in the first 20 rounds, and that happened, so I’m really happy with every decision I’ve made since last year,” Voiro said.
Voiro hasn’t stopped checking the draft board, even though he’s no longer watching for his name.
“Even before I heard about me, I checked it every so often just to see if anyone I knew got picked, either from Penn or from the Ivies or anyone I played with in summer ball,” Voiro said. “I’m really hoping to see Greg’s [Zebrack] name up there soon.”
Five other Ivy League players were selected in the first 15 rounds. Pat Ludwig of Yale (RHP) was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round (316 overall), Nolan Becker (LHP), also of Yale, was selected in the 11th round (352 overall) by the Cincinnati Reds. In the 13th round (410 overall), the New York Mets took Princeton righty Matt Bowman. Dartmouth shortstop Joe Sclafani was the first non-pitcher to be picked, going in the 14th round (429 overall) to the Houston Astros. Finally, the Seattle Mariners took Columbia junior outfielder Dario Pizzano in the 15th round (461 overall).
Though Voiro no longer has to wait for his name to be called, he now begins another waiting game: waiting to hear from the A’s organization, waiting to find out where he’ll be playing, and –– perhaps the worst one of all –– waiting to hear if he’ll ever be called up to the majors.
But for now, Voiro said, he’s just going to enjoy the ride and be thankful he doesn’t have to look for a job right away.