"Nicholls' Delatte drafted by the Blue Jays in the fifth round of MLB DraftCASEY GISCLAIR Sports Editor | Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 4:28 pmNicholls State senior left-handed relief pitcher Brad Delatte said he grew up dreaming of becoming a professional baseball player.That fantasy is now reality – Delatte is officially on the proverbial road of the show.Delatte was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth round (175th pick overall) in last week’s MLB Draft.With the early selection, Delatte is now the second-highest Colonel to ever be picked in baseball’s draft, lagging only behind Scott Sanders, who was the 32nd overall pick in the 1990 Draft.“When I first heard that I was drafted, there was just a little bit of shock, a little bit of disbelief and a whole lot of excitement,” Delatte said. “I’ve been wanting to do this for pretty much my whole life, so to finally be given that opportunity, it’s just so exciting to me. … To tell you the truth, I don’t know if it’s fully sunk in yet.”Delatte lands in the professional ranks after a solid career in Thibodaux, anchoring the back-end of Nicholls’ bullpen.In the final three seasons of his career, Delatte was either Nicholls’ closer or among its top relievers, recording several key outs late in critical ballgames.Those outs helped the Colonels climb from the bottom of the Southland Conference to its current ascent to the middle of the pack within the league.Being such a vital part of the team’s climb is something Delatte said he’d never forget.“It’s been a long road for us,” Delatte said. “It’s just nice to know that collectively as a group, we did a lot of things to take the university from where it was from a baseball standpoint to where it’s at now.”Team goals aside, Delatte really started to shine because of his individual talents during his senior season in Thibodaux.In his final Colonels’ campaign, Delatte posted a 2.86 ERA in 31 relief appearance (34.2 innings), allowing opponents to hit for just an anemic .198 batting average against him for the season.The lefty was especially tough on lefty hitters, recording several crucial outs for Nicholls down the stretch of the season in its quest to push to reach the Southland Conference Tournament – a run that ended one game short.“I’ll always be disappointed that we came up short in that last run that we made,” Delatte said.But with his college career complete, Delatte said he quickly turned he has turned his attention to the professional level.The pitcher said he knew he was going to be picked in last week’s draft, but he had “no idea” it would be in the draft’s early rounds.“From everything that I heard, I was going to be picked somewhere in the mid-to-late rounds,” Delatte said. “Then, I got a call on the second day and I was told that there was a really good chance that I could go even earlier than that.”The pitcher said his advisor told him he’d “likely be Toronto’s guy” a few minutes before the Blue Jays were on the clock. He added that a regional scout from the team confirmed it a few minutes later – a phone call Delatte said he will never forget.“About 10 or 20 minutes after the pick was made, the Blue Jays called and congratulated me and everything,” Delatte said. “I think I didn’t really realize that this was real until they called and told me what was happening.“To tell you the truth, they didn’t even really tell me much of anything about what they liked about me as a pitcher or why they picked me. They just told me that they liked my fastball velocity and that’s about it. From talking with people since then, I’ve learned that they liked that I was a lefty who is good facing other lefties and that I have a really good breaking ball.”With the pick in place, Delatte will not have time to wallow in his achievement – the pitcher is already working on his craft with the Blue Jays.Delatte said he traveled to Tampa this past weekend and started his rookie ball work with the team.Once he completes that preliminary month, the pitcher will be keeping his eyes on Bluefield, WV, which is the home of the Blue Jays’ Single-A affiliate.From there, he’d likely have to make stops in Vancouver, Lansing, Mi., New Hampshire and Las Vegas to reach the big league club.Whether that happens remains to be seen.For now, just being able to call himself a professional baseball player is good enough for the Nicholls lefty.“I tell you what man, that’s just an unbelievable feeling – I don’t even know how to explain it,” Delatte said when asked how it feels to be a pro. “It’s been a long road to get where I’m at now. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices and I’ve put a lot of hard work in to reach this level. And this accomplishment is all about the good people behind me pushing me to get where I need to be.“I guess now is when the real work starts.”
"Trey Pascazi expects to put on hold his plans to pursue a career in criminal justice in order to play baseball for a living, but Grant Heyman isn’t sure if he’ll turn pro or head to college.
For both players, it depends on what the Toronto Blue Jays want — and want to offer.
Heyman, a Pittsford Sutherland senior outfielder, was selected by the Jays on the 11th round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 5. The team chose Pascazi, a senior shortstop from East Rochester, in round 23 the following day.
“Both of these guys have special ability,” said Jamie Lehman, who scouts Canada and western New York for the Blue Jays.
If Pascazi had not been drafted, he was planning to attend Monroe Community College. Now he’s expecting to be on his way to Dunedin, Fla., around June 25 to Toronto’s spring training base.
He must wait to be handed his high school diploma before he can turn pro, however.
“I’m ready to sign and get going,” he said.
Heyman is actually in Florida today, but he’s touring the University of Miami. The Hurricanes have offered him a scholarship, and playing for one of college baseball’s perennial powers still appeals to him.
But on Friday he’ll be in Toronto to schmooze with the Blue Jays, and the talk of a contract is sure to come up.
“I’ll get to take batting practice with the Blue Jays and stretch and throw with them,” Heyman said. “I’m really pumped to take BP with Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus.
“I guess a decision’s coming shortly but I haven’t made my decision yet.”