By: JJ Michalski
Frederick, MD – The Frederick Keys saw seven players selected in this year’s MLB First Year Player Draft. Through the 20 rounds of selections, Alex Ulloa, Mason Auer, Ronan Kopp, Luke Anderson, Luis Guerrero, Hector G. Nieves, and Kamron Fields all had their names called. In its
By: JJ Michalski
Frederick, MD – The Frederick Keys saw seven players selected in this year’s MLB First Year Player Draft. Through the 20 rounds of selections, Alex Ulloa, Mason Auer, Ronan Kopp, Luke Anderson, Luis Guerrero, Hector G. Nieves, and Kamron Fields all had their names called. In its inaugural season, the MLB Draft League had 39 players drafted in the 612 pick MLB Draft. The Williamsport Crosscutters led the league with 8 draft picks. General Manager of the Keys, Andrew Klein, is excited watch former Keys compete at the next level.
"It’s been a very exciting few days here for the Keys," Klein said. "Seeing so many of our Keys players get drafted has been a testament to these players, our coaches, and the people in charge of the MLB Draft League. This is a great launching point for our league and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for each of our guys as they enter their new organizations."
Alex Ulloa was the first player in Draft League history to hear his name called, being drafted in the 4th round at 117th overall by the Houston Astros. A product of Calvary Christian Academy, Ulloa played for the Keys from opening day until his temporary contract came to an end on June 6th. In 11 games, Ulloa had seven RBIs for the Keys this season. Ulloa’s best performance came on May 29 against Mahoning Valley when the infielder had a three-hit performance with two doubles and one triple. He is one of three Keys this season who picked up three hits in game.
Mason Auer was the second Key hear his named called, as the Tampa Bay Rays selected the two-way player in the 5th round with the 161st overall pick. The Oregon commit appeared in 14 games for the Keys this season, making four appearances on the mound after starting each game in the outfield. Auer hit .235 on the season with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Left-handed pitcher Ronan Kopp was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers on the final day of the draft in the 12th round with the 372nd overall pick. The South Mountain Community College freshman was the Keys top starter this season making 8 appearances and four starts, finishing with a 1.46 ERA. The 18-year old led the first half of the MLB Draft League with 45 strikeouts.
Luke Anderson was the fourth Keys player selected in the draft, as the Oakland Athletics used their 15th round selection on the right-handed pitcher. Anderson appeared seven times for the Keys this season, pitching a total of 18 innings and making three starts. Anderson’s final start came last Wednesday as he pitched four innings allowing two hits and no runs in the game.
The Red Sox selected Luis Guerrero in the 17th round with the 496th overall pick. Guerrero was the Keys opening day starter against the Trenton Thunder in Citizens Bank Park. The Chipola product has good company who have followed the same path. Former big leaguer Jose Bautista and current Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin are both Chipola alumni.
In the 19th round, the Keys once again connected with the Astros as Hector G. Nieves was selected 568th overall. The middle infielder flashed the leather at shortstop for the Keys appearing in nine games. All six of his hits were singles.
The final Frederick Key to be selected in the 2021 MLB Draft was Kamron Fields, a right-handed pitcher from Texas Southern. Fields was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 20th round as the second to last pick of the draft. Fields appeared seven times this season making four starts. He finished second for the leader in innings pitched during the first half of the Keys season, throwing 22.3 innings.
President of the MLB Draft League, Kerrick Jackson, is pleased to see the number of players that were drafted in the league's inaugural season.
"I want to congratulate the young men from the MLB Draft League who were selected by Major League teams,” Jackson said. “Our main objective in the league is to foster an environment for growth, development and evaluation that ultimately provides every Draft League player an opportunity to begin their journey toward reaching the Major Leagues. To have the number of players selected that we did in the first year is a sign of the endless potential that this league possesses. We look forward to hosting future Major Leaguers for years to come."
The Keys congratulate Ulloa, Auer, Kopp, Anderson, Guerrero, Nieves, and Fields along with the rest of the MLB Draft League on this major career step. Former Frederick Keys can still be signed in free agency and announcements regarding free agent signings will be posted to the Keys social media channels as they become available. Frederick hosts its first practice of the second half on Wednesday afternoon and will begin play again on Thursday night in Williamsport. For more information about the Frederick Keys please contact JJ Michalski by phone at (301)-815-9915 or by emailing at [email protected].