Alex Santos grew up in the Bronx as a Yankees fan but will likely return to Yankee Stadium as a member of an American League rival.
The Houston Astros used their first pick in the 2020 Major League Draft to select the pitcher from Mount St. Michael Academy June 11.
“I was super excited and emotional,” Santos told CNY. “I’m happy I was able to spend the night (watching the draft) with family and close friends.”
Santos was selected by Houston in the second round with the 72nd overall pick, a compensation pick awarded to the Astros when the Yankees signed pitcher Gerrit Cole as a free agent.
Houston lost its first- and second-round picks as a penalty from Major League Baseball for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.
Santos said he’s planning to sign with the Astros and pass on the National Letter of Intent he had signed with the University of Maryland.
“We’re all thrilled with how it worked out,” said Mount St. Michael baseball coach Wally Stampfel. “For him to reach the goals he was working toward is awesome.
“What I like best about him is, he never changed,” the coach said. “As his stock rose, he never looked for preferential treatment.”
Santos hopes to one day join the Astros, who reached the World Series in two of the last three seasons and won the World Series title in 2017. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-hander throws a fastball clocked in the mid-90s, along with a curveball, slider and changeup. He expects to continue improving as a pitcher in the Astros organization. “They have a good pitching development program,” he said.
Last year, Santos was one of 80 top high school juniors eligible for the 2020 draft selected to participate in the inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline League, a three-week camp sponsored by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He received instruction on and off the field from representatives of the 30 Major League Baseball teams and college coaches.
His camp performance earned him trips to Progressive Field in Cleveland to participate in the High School All-Star Game, and Los Angeles, where he was one of 40 players selected to try out for Team USA at the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup in Busan, South Korea.
Santos has not pitched since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s continued to work out and throw while finishing his studies remotely during his senior year at Mount St. Michael.
“I had a great experience at Mount St. Michael with the teachers, staff and students. I had one of the best high school experiences,” he said.