University of Maine pitcher Nick Sinacola, the first Black Bear pitcher to be named a first team All-American, was selected in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball draft by the San Francisco Giants on Monday.
He was the 206th overall pick.
Sinacola, who is a junior, is expected to sign a contract and begin pitching in San Francisco’s minor league system soon. As the Giants’ seventh-round pick, he will likely receive a signing bonus of $220,200, according to MLB.com.
The 6-foot-1 native of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, finished second in the country in strikeouts per nine innings with 15.77. He set a school record with 139 total strikeouts and that was the sixth highest strikeout total in the nation.
Sinacola was the America East Pitcher of the Year and UMaine’s first ever District 1 Player of Year. He ended the season with a 9-3 record, and a 2.04 earned run average. Opponents hit a batting average of just .208 off him.
He struck out at least 10 hitters in 11 of his 12 starts and allowed two earned runs or less in 10 of them.
Sinacola, who features a nasty slider to go with a fastball and split-fingered pitch, is 0-1 with an 8.00 ERA in two starts this summer for Harwich in the prestigious Cape Cod League. He has allowed only five hits in nine innings and struck out 13, but three of those hits were homers. He walked five batters.
“He deserves it,” UMaine head coach Nick Derba, a former minor league catcher, said. “He is getting the opportunity to chase his dream. Now the hard part starts.”
Derba said Sinacola’s aspirations to climb the minor league ladder and eventually pitch for the Giants will come down to his fastball command.
“It’s easier to hit a breaking ball when you know it’s coming than it is to hit a fastball,” Derba said.
Derba said that Sinacola already has a great slider”with Major League potential, and said he expects Sinacola’s slider to get even better over the next few years. He also said Sinacola will add velocity to his fastball and slider as he gets stronger.
His fastball is in the 89-91 mph range. His slider is 82-85 mph.
Former UMaine pitcher and Bangor High star Trevor DeLaite, who had a great year for Liberty University (Va.) and was one of six finalists for National Pitcher of the Year, was not chosen through the first 10 rounds but 10 more rounds will conclude the draft on Tuesday.