June 7, 2014
NEW YORK, N.Y. – UConn senior shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 33rd round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday evening. Verdi becomes the 81st UConn player to be selected in the draft, and the 35th under Jim Penders.
The 981st pick of the draft overall, Verdi finished his four-year career in Storrs with a .266 average and .366 on-base percentage. The 2014 tri-captain tallied 178 hits, 120 runs, 72 RBIs and 46 stolen bases in 183 career games. He was also hit by a pitch 55 times in his career, a program record. Verdi helped the Huskies to a pair of NCAA Regionals appearances in his career, and was part of the 2011 squad that won the NCAA Clemson Regional and advanced to the Super Regionals.
Verdi was named to the 2013 Big East Championship All-Tournament Team, hitting safely in each game of the tournament to help UConn win the title in its final season in the league. During his final year in Storrs in 2014, he came back from an injury that cost him the first 30 games of the year to bat .263, score 24 runs and steal 12 bases on 13 attempts. Verdi’s best statistical season offensively came in 2012, when he batted .289, slugged four home runs and drove in 35. Steady with the glove throughout his career, Verdi finished his time in Storrs with a .950 fielding percentage.
Verdi will look to join a rapidly growing legacy of Huskies in the professional ranks. There are currently 11 former UConn baseball players in a major league organization, highlighted by George Springer (’11) of the Astros and Mike Olt (’10) of the Cubs playing in the MLB.
Last season, LJ Mazzilli was taken by the New York Mets in the fourth round of the MLB Draft. Current Huskies Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.), Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Taylor Olmstead (Greenwich, Conn.) were also selected in the draft, but remained or enrolled at UConn.
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