FORT MYERS, Fla. - Luis Pardo (Miami, Fla.) became the third FGCU baseball player to get drafted by a major professional sports league when he was selected in the 9th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft Friday afternoon. This is the highest any Eagle has been drafted. Two more Eagles were selected later in the draft. Senior Jason Kiley (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and incoming freshman Chris Sale (Lakeland, Fla.) were also selected.
"When we signed him (Pardo), we knew this was a goal of his," said head coach Dave Tollett. "He was drafted in the late rounds last year and wanted to come here to get better. Going in the 9th round shows how hard he has worked and how hard our staff has worked to help him, as well as all of our other players get better."
Pardo, a 6-5 right-hander, was selected by the Houston Astros with the 291st pick. Last season he went 5-3 for the Eagles and posted a 2.93 ERA. Pardo struck out 87 batters in 76.2 innings while appearing in 18 games with 10 starts.
"I am very excited to have been selected," stated Pardo. "17 years of very hard work has paid off."
Justin Stivers was previously the highest draft choice for FGCU as he was also selected by the Astros in the 17th round last season.
Sale, a 6-5 left-handed pitcher, was selected in the 21st round by the Colorado Rockies. Coach Tollett expects Sale to enroll at FGCU next fall.
Kiley was selected in the 25th round with the 784th pick by the New York Yankees. Kiley finished his career as the leader in all-time wins at FGCU with 25. Last season, he led the staff with 87.2 innings pitched while winning seven games. Kiley struck out 84 batters, and posted a 3.49 ERA and was a second team all-region selection by Daktronics.
FGCU has had five players selected in the draft over the last two years. In addition, three other players have signed free-agent deals with Major League Baseball teams.