Four More Polk Locals Selected on Final Day of Baseball Draft
Thu. June 07, 2012 at 2:04 a.m. | By Mike Cobb
Clockwise from top left: Chubb, Snyder, Richardson, Newton
By MIKE COBB
George Jenkins graduate Kyle Newton has one year of college baseball eligibility left, but he figures it's time to go ahead, fulfill his dream and take his shot at the next level.
Newton, a third baseman for Florida Atlantic, was picked in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball Draft Wednesday by the Colorado Rockies.
"I'm glad to be moving up to the next level," Newton said Wednesday. "A lot of people don't get the chance to do that. I just want to keep working hard and work my way up."
Newton was one of four players with local ties drafted Wednesday making a total of 10 players with Polk County connections who were picked during the three-day draft.
Also selected Wednesday was Lake Region graduate Ronnie Richardson, a center fielder for UCF, who was picked by San Diego in the 16th round.
From Florida Southern, senior catcher Austin Chubb went in the 21st round to Washington and senior third baseman Michael Snyder went in the 23rd round to the Los Angeles Angels.
Newton said he plans to sign and has been told he will probably start out at Grand Junction, Colo., with the Rockies' rookie-league team that plays in the Pioneer League.
"It's a lifelong dream," Newton said. "I'm just glad I'm getting the opportunity to play."
Newton played two seasons at South Florida Community College before signing to play this year at Florida Atlantic.
With FAU, he batted .311 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs starting every game at third base. With the Rockies, he said they might look at him at second base, too, along with some time at shortstop.
Richardson also has one year of eligibility remaining at UCF. With the Knights this year, he displayed power as well as speed, batting .305 with nine home runs and 24 stolen bases.
Richardson was also drafted out of high school in 2009 in the 11th round by Minnesota.
"He had all the tools (in high school)," Lake Region coach Bill Bullock said. "He could fly, he has a tremendous arm and all the things scouts are looking for. He's gotten stronger (in college) and refined his swing even more."
For FSC, Chubb and Snyder both earned first-team All-Sunshine State Conference honors this season, and Snyder was also named to the All-South Region team.
"They're both big and strong and can swing the bat," said Pete Meyer, FSC's head coach this past spring, who is also the school's athletic director. "I was expecting they'd get an opportunity to play at the next level."
Snyder hit .325 and led the team with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs.
"He's got as much power as a lot of people in the draft," Meyer said.
His twin brother Matt, a first baseman for the University of Mississippi, was drafted in the 10th round by the New York Yankees.
Chubb hit .291 with 17 doubles, 8 home runs and 33 RBIs this year.
Both are expected start out at the rookie-league level. Snyder will likely be in Orem, Utah, in the Pioneer League. Chubb could wind up with the Nationals' squad in the Gulf Coast League in Viera.