Belmont Abbey senior third baseman/pitcher Emilio Pagan was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the tenth round, 297th overall, of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Pagan, the Abbey's everday third baseman and closer, was drafted as a pitcher. The Simpsonville, South Carolina product worked out for Mariners executives at Safeco Field last week. He is just the ninth Belmont Abbey player to be drafted and the first since 2010.
"God is great," Pagan said. "He has blessed me with a great opportunity. The coaching staff and teammates at Belmont Abbey were the best I could ever dream about. I will miss them and cherish our times together. Thank you to everyone at Belmont Abbey College and the Seattle Mariners."
Pagan's selection is the highest in school history, edging Alex Castellanos by eight slots. Castellanos was the St. Louis Cardinals tenth round pick, 305th overall, in the 2008 draft.
"I am extremely proud of Emilio and his opportunity with the Seattle Mariners," Head Coach Scott Brickman said. "He has put in a lot of work to make this day happen and to hear his name called on draft day is a tremendous moment in his life. He has been a huge part of our success over the last couple of years and has helped put Belmont Abbey baseball on the national map. Our entire staff wishes him the best and look forward to following his success at the next level."
Pagan transferred to the Abbey from Gardner-Webb prior to the 2012 season was instantly installed as the Crusaders everyday third baseman and closer. In 2012, he hit .294 in 51 games, but his dominance came from the mound.
Selected as a second team All-American relief pitcher, Pagan was lights out, converting 13 saves in 13 chances while not allowing a single run in 19 innings. He gave up just 15 hits and struck out 12, all while facing 66 batters. He was the Crusaders first All-America selection since 2009.
In 2013, as a senior, Pagan recorded four saves and whiffed 39 batters in 34 innings pitched while hitting .287 with four home runs and 29 RBI.
In his two year Abbey career, Pagan recorded 17 saves with a 2.77 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched. In two seasons at Gardner-Webb, he registered one save and struck out 72 batters in 112 innings of work.