SARASOTA, Fla. -- There were many Suncoast players selected over this past weekend in the Major League Baseball draft, but not all are best friends.
It was an eventful three days for Suncoast players last week as many were drafted by MLB teams. 2-time state champ Venice had Dalton Guthrie get drafted by his father's former team, the Twins; while teammate Mike Rivera, a catcher, got drafted by the Oakland A's.
3 players were drafted by the Braves: Venice grad Matt Tellor, former Sarasota High player Keith Curcio, and 6'7'' pitcher Chad Sobotka, who played at Cardinal Mooney. Michael Suchy, a former ABC 7 Athlete of the Week at Southeast was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The first Suncoast player to go was Eric Skoglund, who went in the 3rd round to the Kansas City Royals. The former Sarasota Sailor pitcher was the Conference Pitcher of the Year at University of Central Florida. "Definitely a relief; it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to play Major League Baseball," says Skogland.
It has been a whirlwind since he was drafted on Friday, then signed his contract Sunday. Now he must leave home for Arizona Monday. "I had no idea I would be leaving this morning until I signed my contract yesterday. It’s definitely been hectic but exciting."
ABC 7 talked to Skoglund at the home of his best friend, Danny Mars. The two are pretty inseparable. Mars was the Conference Player of the Year for Chipola State, and he was drafted by the Red Sox and left for Boston Monday. “That is something you wait for since you are 4 or 5 years old playing T-ball. It’s awesome that I get to begin my career with the Boston Red Sox," says Mars.
The two are being separated by baseball, but both their flights were routed through Atlanta, so they were going to meet up again on the way to their final destinations.
But packing and saying goodbyes was definitely done in a hasty fashion. “It’s bittersweet. No one enjoys leaving home and saying goodbye to everyone, but this is something I have been waiting for since I was 5," says Mars.
"Having to say goodbye to loved ones, friends, family is tough, but it is a business now. At the same time it is part of life and it is a business now. We are all excited," says Skogland.