EC standout drafted by Milwaukee Brewers
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:00 AM
Former East Central Community College and Delta State University baseball player Carlos Leal was drafted in the 34th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday. The 5-foot-10 senior from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, played two seasons for the Warriors before finishing his last two collegiate seasons at Delta State.
While Leal played catcher for his four collegiate years, the Brewers drafted him as a pitcher, hoping to capitalize on an electric arm that can touch 94 miles per hour off the mound.
Leal said there were a few talks about possibly getting picked up as a pitcher rather than a catcher. "The area scout called me and asked if I didn't mind if they draft me as pitcher," he said. "I told him it didn't matter. I was excited to get started playing pro ball."
While Leal has never given much thought to pitching, it was his coach at ECCC that first saw his potential on the mound. "Coach Holliman was the first person to ask me if I wanted to get on the mound," Leal said. "I threw some that fall but only threw one inning in the spring. Now that I can just focus on pitching, I think I can really improve."
Leal received a bevy of awards while at Delta State, including First Team All-Gulf South Conference in both of his years as a Statesman. He was also named to the All-South Region Second team in both years. As a senior, Leal hit .359 with six doubles, one triple, one home run, and 37 RBI. Behind the plate, he threw out 12-of-42 runners.
During his time at ECCC, Leal was named to the MACJC All-State and All-Region 23 teams as a team captain. He hit .311 with six doubles, four home runs and 26 RBIs in 40 games at catcher his sophomore year. Leal was previously drafted in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round.
Leal joins a group of 35 players with Mississippi ties to be taken in the 2014 MLB Draft. Ole Miss had the most players drafted from any one school with nine. The first Mississippian drafted was West Lauderdale High School's Blake Anderson at 36th overall by the Miami Marlins.