St. John’s second baseman Sam DeLuca was hopeful he would be selected in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. Once he was bypassed, the Pelham, N.Y. native was down, but not for too long.
Soon after, the Mets, through scout Larry Izzo, who followed him much of the season, expressed interest in signing him as a non-drafted free agent.
Last Thursday, June 21, they made it official, inking DeLuca to a contract at Shea Stadium. Two day later, he headed to the club’s Rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said hours after becoming a professional baseball player. “I’m happy the Mets gave me this opportunity. I’m very excited for this chance.”
“I think I’m ready,” he added.
The three-year middle infielder made two All-Big East conference teams. He also owns seven of the Jamaica school’s career and single-season record lists. DeLuca put up career bests this spring with a .351 batting average, 60 games played, 28 doubles, 21 extra-base hits, 46 runs batted in, and a .422 on-base percentage.
DeLuca was not the only member of the Big East Conference’s regular season champs to be picked up. Senior catcher Brendan Monaghan signed with the Baltimore Orioles and will start his career with the Bluefield (West Virginia) Orioles of the Rookie-level Appalachian League.