Xavier Moore has been drafted by the Texas Rangers as the Major League Baseball team’s 16th round pick.
“It just feels great,” he said. “It’s an honor and a blessing. To be able to do something not a lot of people get an opportunity to do is just amazing. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
The 2017 Amherst Steele High School graduate and Comets baseball standout has until July 7 to decide whether he will become a part of the Rangers organization or accept an athletic scholarship from Ohio State University.
Moore was the 494th player taken overall and the first this year from Ohio.
He’s the second Steele alumnus to be drafted in the past six years but the first to be chosen straight out of high school.
Moore signed commitment papers in November to play baseball at Ohio State. He said that scholarship likely won’t wait for him if he elects to sign with Texas but the contract he’s been offered would pay for schooling in the future.
“Usually now in your contract with an MLB organization, whether you’re the first pick or the last pick, they pay for your college,” Moore said. “That really makes you want to take the MLB offer because if it doesn’t work out I’m still getting my college paid for. There’s definitely life after baseball and I want to be prepared for it.”
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet,” he said. “It’s a life-changing decision. Whatever choice I do make is going to be the best for my family and myself. We’re going to look at the pros and cons of both and make the best decision possible for us.”
Ryan Rua, a 2008 Steele grad, was drafted by the Rangers in 2011 after playing three years at Lake Erie College. He made his MLB debut in 2014 and was the Rangers’ opening day starter in left field in 2015.
“Ryan is a great guy and a leader to look up to,” Moore said. “The way he goes about his business sets a good example and it’s just crazy how he went from where I’m at now to MLB. Now I’m getting a little taste of what that’s like. It’s awesome to have someone to talk to who’s been through it already.”
Amherst Steele coach Matt Rositano has led the Comets’ varsity baseball squad since 2013 and was Rua’s freshman and junior varsity coach.
“When I found out Xavier got picked I got an adrenaline rush because I was excited for him,” said Rositano. “To have two guys now get drafted in this short of amount of time, not just drafted but by the same organization, is a big boost to our program. With Ryan being drafted, we became familiar with a number of their scouts. I talked to 21 different MLB teams throughout the year about Xavier.”
“Coach Roz is a great leader and he’s helped me so much,” said Moore. “A lot of coaches just talk about winning but at the end of the day it’s more than that. He’s tough on you but it’s for the best. He gets scouts at our games and it’s a blessing to have someone who cares as a high school coach. I’m lucky and blessed to have played for him.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.