Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Four Local Baseball Players Drafted by Major Leagues

Four local baseball players from Orange County were drafted in this week’s Major League Baseball Draft. Rob Hensey, Jake Miller, and brothers Caden and Casey Dana are all names to watch in the future.

Hensey, a left-handed starting pitcher from Campbell Hall, was drafted in the 9th round by the Cincinnati Reds. He is 22 years old and towers at 6’4″, weighing 220 pounds. He graduated from Goshen High School in 2018 and played for Monmouth University for the last four years.

Hensey started seven games, going 5-0 with an ERA of 1.54. He was named the MAAC Pitcher of the Year, while also earning All-MAAC First Team honors. His ERA ranked him fifth in the nation, while his strikeout to walk ratio of 6.83 was ranked 17th nationally and best in the MAAC.

Miller, a 21 year-old from Chester, was selected in the eighth round by the Detroit Tigers. The left-handed pitcher played for Valparaiso University, which is a Lutheran college in Indiana.

“At first, I was at a loss for words,” Miller stated. “I got thinking about how far I’ve come since I was a little kid and how much I’ve loved this sport. I’ve dealt with adversity and learned how that makes you better and tougher. I had a lot of confidence that I would make it here, and now I’m finally here. Right before the pick, I got the news that I was going to be a Tiger. My whole family is here with me in New York. It’s exciting stuff.”

Miller posted a 6-2 record in 2022, his first year as a weekend starter for the Beacons. He logged 61 1/3 innings and struck out 75 while issuing just 17 walks. He ranked 15th in the MVC in innings pitched, eighth in strikeouts and tied for fifth in walks. In addition, he ranked fourth in the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 4.41 and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings at 11.01. Miller notched a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven innings of two-run ball on April 3 at UIC. He made 11 relief appearances in 2021 before 11 of his 12 outings came in a starting role this season.

Today, he is flying to the Tigers’ Spring Training complex in Lakeland, Fla., where he is expected to receive his contract, get a physical and receive a tour of the facilities.  

Brothers Caden and Casey Dana, both of Montgomery, were drafted by the Los Angeles Angels. Caden Dana, a pitcher, was taken in the 11th round. Casey Dana, an outfielder, was picked in the 16th round.

“Casey was the guy we were targeting as a Draft pick to begin with,” Angels amateur scouting director Tim McIlvaine said. “Then, once it came together that we took his brother [Caden] with our first pick of Day 3, we knew we had to get Casey.”

McIlvaine continued, “We’re glad to keep them together and can’t wait to see where this story goes. I think it’ll be really fun.”

Caden, who is 6’5″ and 225 pounds, is 18 years old and attended Don Bosco Prep in northern New Jersey. He is a right-handed pitcher with a 95 mph fastball.

Casey, who is 6’4″ and 215 pounds, is 23 years old and graduated from Don Bosco Prep in 2017. He played for Seton Hall in the 2018 through 2021 seasons. This year, he has been playing for the University of Connecticut. He is a right-handed third baseman.

“This is an incredible accomplishment and Orange County is proud of these prospects,” Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus declared. “I wish them the best of luck in their careers.”

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