Padres take Hofstra righty Verbitsky in third round
Bryan Verbitsky said he wanted to limit the people around him to only his parents, his sister, her boyfriend and his grandma as he watched and waited Friday.
When the Padres selected Verbitsky with the 86th overall pick in the third round of the First-Year Player Draft, he said everyone erupted in excitement for the right-handed pitcher from Hofstra University (N.Y.).
"It's a real special feeling," Verbitsky said by phone. "It's more than I expected honestly. You always dream about what it's going to be like, and then once it actually happens, it's an incredible feeling."
Verbitsky said he was surprised the Padres selected him. He never had a workout with them specifically, though he had been in contact with their scouts. Verbitsky was the first pitcher chosen by the Padres after they took two outfielders and a shortstop Thursday.
The junior appeared in 19 games this season for Hofstra, posting a 3-4 record and a 2.66 ERA while striking out 51 batters and walking just 10 in 44 innings. He made three starts and three saves.
"We saw him in both roles and we feel like he as all the ingredients to start," said Padres assistant general manager Chad MacDonald.
At 6-foot, 205 pounds Verbitsky also played the outfield, but began to focus on his pitching with a consistent 90-mph fastball that he can get up to 97, along with a changeup and slider.
Verbitsky struck out 87 batters in 86 2/3 career innings for Hofstra, holding opponents to a .243 batting average. He hit .257 with eight home runs during his career as an outfielder.
After the first two days and 10 rounds of the Draft, the Padres selected 11 players -- five right-handed pitchers, three infielders and three outfielders -- six of which are high schoolers and five college players.
"We had a little bit of everything," MacDonald said. "We feel good about the talent we added today."