by Rob Brown, 2 yrs ago

Roncalli High School centerfielder Nick Schnell was selected last night by the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round (32nd overall selection) of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft. The Rays made the selection during the compensatory phase of the first round. Schnell is the first Roncalli player selected in the 54-year history of the Major League Baseball draft. He is only the 15th Indiana player to be selected straight out of high school in the first round of the draft. In that group of 15 players, he is only the fifth non-pitcher to be selected and the first since 1998. Schnell is just the fifth player to be selected in the first round directly from an Indianapolis high school.

“When they called my name, I was so thankful, because it meant everything that I had worked toward had come true,” said Schnell on his selection last night.

Schnell, a 6-3, 180-pound centerfielder, finished his Roncalli career with a .473 career batting average, 25 home runs and 109 RBIs. Over his 112-game, four-year varsity career, Schnell compiled career school records for batting average (.473), hits (155), home runs (25), RBIs (109), runs (151) and walks (101). In his senior season, Schnell hit .535 with 15 home runs and 37 RBIs from the leadoff spot. He established new program single-season records for home runs (15), runs scored (52) and walks (41) while leading the Rebels to a 25-6 record and sectional and Marion County Tournament titles. As a sophomore, Schnell started in centerfield and hit .435 for the 2016 Class 4A State Champions.

“The support system I’ve had at Roncalli, and all over the south side, has been awesome,” said Schnell. “I couldn’t have hoped for a better group to have around me.”

“Nick’s 2018 season, combined with his tremendous talent and work ethic, vaulted him into the first round of the draft,” said Roncalli baseball head coach Aaron Kroll. “He deserves it and I’m really happy for him and his family. I can’t wait to see how his baseball future unfolds.”

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