Spartan Dreams Coming True

From the glory of the final out of a back-to-back championship, to getting the phone calls of their dreams, the University of Tampa Spartan players drafted by Major League Baseball teams have had their lives changed in the span of only a month. There were six players in all, the largest class of players to go pro in UT history. The record setting class of UT players sent to MLB includes Jonathan Holt (fifth round, Cleveland Indians), Scott Leffler (eighth round, Toronto Blue Jay), Craig Corrado (14th Round, Houston Astros), Roberto Mena (19th Round, Seattle Mariners), Ryan Kennedy (19th Round, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and Johnny Williams (undrafted, Cleveland Indians). The new major leaguers are all scattered around the country (and Canada), working hard to move up the chains. “So far so good,” former closer and championship game stud Jonathan Holt said. “It’s been a whirlwind month. You win a national championship and a week later your dream of playing professional ball comes true.” Holt got the call from the Indians at 8 p.m. on June 7 telling him they drafted him. He then headed to Niles, Ohio and is currently playing in the New York Penn League until September. He couldn’t be happier. “I’m very thankful for the opportunity they [The Indians] have given me. Their facilities, trainers, and overall organization are top of the line,” Holt said.

Ryan Kennedy reported to the Angels two days after the draft. However, a series of small setbacks have hobbled Kennedy so far.

Early in camp, he injured his hamstring during conditioning which prevented him from playing for a few days. Then he cut his finger putting his luggage on the bus and had to get three stitches which halted his playing time some more.

Despite his luck, Kennedy said he loves the organization and likes the everyday routine of waking up at 12, going to the park, conditioning, doing drills, and then playing in a game. He also said he was expecting the major league routine to be a lot different than college, but so far it doesn’t feel that strange.

Minor league baseball schedules are hectic and often involve long bus rides from one town to another.

UT coach Joe Urso, Leffler, Mena, Corrado and Williams were all contacted by The Minaret but were unavailable for comment at the time. Check back later for updated information.

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