LAKELAND, Fla. ā€“ The 2018 Southeastern University baseball team continues to make history, as SEU had three players taken in the 2018 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. The three Fire selections mark the most picks in a single-draft in program history
With the 480th overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft, the Tampa Bay Rays selected junior outfielder Marvin Malone. The 16th round pick marks the second-highest selection for SEU in program history.
In his lone season competing with Southeastern, Malonestarted 60 games and hit .360 at the plate with 19 doubles, 16 home runs, 61 runs batted in, and 17 stolen bases. The Douglas, Wyo. native also posted a .960 fielding percentage with 91 putouts. Malone was named to the 2018 All-World Series team after registering a .444 batting average and .522 on-base percentage in Lewiston.
In the 18th round, another SEU player made his way to the AL East. With the 550th overall pick in the draft, the Boston Red Sox selected senior right-handed pitcher Eddie Jimenez.
“This is something I have been working for my whole life and to have the opportunity to play pro ball is truly a blessing. You grow up watching your favorite players on TV and now you might be competing against guys you’ve seen on TV,” commented Jimenez.
In his lone season playing for the Fire, Jimenez was 3-0, with a 1.35 ERA, and 38 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched. Jimenez was the winning pitcher in the championship-clinching game of the NAIA World Series for Southeastern, after tossing 5.1 innings and fanning seven in the start.
“I got closer to God at SEU. I started going to chapels and making friends with people who are close to God and it helped me get a broad vision of life and what really matters,” added Jimenez.
With the 702nd overall pick, the defending World Series champion Houston Astros selected junior left-handed pitcher Jonathan Bermudez. The Astros used their 23rdround selection on the recently-named NAIA Pitcher of the Year. Bermudez turned in a historic season on the mound for SEU, going 15-2 with a 1.95 ERA, 153 strikeouts, and a .178 opponent batting average. The marks in wins and strikeouts were single-season program records.
“This has always been a dream of mine and now it’s come true. It’s kind of nerve-wracking because it is the start of a new beginning. But I get to do what I love as my job and I’m so excited,” remarked Bermudez.
The Coamo, Puerto Rico native was a perfect 2-0 in the Avista-NAIA World Series, tossing a complete game versus Oklahoma City before fanning 12 in a 7.1 inning performance versus host school Lewis-Clark State. Bermudez also tossed a nine-inning no-hitter versus Sun Conference foe Warner on 3/23 in which he punched out 16.
“I want to thank Coach Dinkel, Dahl, Dorado, and Souceyfor making me work hard this year. My teammates were my brothers and Southeastern was my school. I am so thankful God put me there,” added Bermudez.
The three Southeastern picks pushes the all-time program MLB draft selections to eight.