While not official quite yet, Davis Schneider is as close to being a professional baseball player as you can get without signing a contract.
Taken in the 28th round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft, the Eastern High School standout plans to leave Friday for Dunedin, Florida to begin his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. He is expected to join its rookie affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.
Schneider was drafted Wednesday and found out after playing a game for the Olympic-Colonial all-stars in the 32nd annual Carpenter Cup.
“I got in the car and was checking on Twitter and saw that my name popped up,” said Schneider, who will graduate from Eastern on Thursday. “I was expecting a call first and thought it was a mistake. They called two minutes later and wished me congratulations.
“I really don’t believe it. It’s so surreal, a dream come true.”
Said his father, Steve: “He’d play for a new glove and a new pair of cleats. He really doesn’t care about the money and neither do we.
“Of course, we’d love a big a signing bonus but we’re realistic enough to know that wasn’t going to happen. He’s getting a shot and has a chance to move up in the organization.”
Schneider has come to financial terms, agreeing to a $50,000 signing bonus. Money will also be set aside as part of the MLB scholarship plan to use toward college when his career comes to an end.
The third baseman had signed with Rutgers.
“I’m real excited,” Schneider said. “I just want to prove that they didn’t make a mistake in taking me. Even though it was in the later rounds, they picked me. I want to show them what I can do, how hard I work and how good of a baseball player I am.”
He will take a physical and make everything official Friday.
Schneider led Eastern with a .444 batting average and collected a school record 16 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 27 runs scored and 40 RBIs. He is Eastern’s all-time leader with 138 career hits and a three-time All-South Jersey selection by the South Jersey Baseball Coaches Association.
Buddy Kennedy, Millville: The third baseman and North Carolina commit was taken in the fifth round (142 overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He batted .493 with nine doubles, three triples, six home runs, 25 runs scored and 25 RBIs.
Davis Schneider, Eastern: The third baseman committed to Rutgers and was taken in the 28th round (849 overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays. He led the Vikings with a .444 batting average and collected 16 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 27 runs scored and 40 RBIs. He is Eastern’s all-time leader with 138 career hits.
Tyler Dearden, Rancocas Valley: Drafted as a center fielder, Dearden was selected in the 29th round (881 overall) by the Boston Red Sox. He batted .379 with seven doubles, three triples, two home runs and 15 RBIs. A Penn State commit.
Brad Dobzanski, Delsea: The right-hander was taken in the 39th round (1,176 overall) by the San Francisco Giants. He went 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA for the Crusaders, striking out 43 and walking six in 31 innings. He was the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year and is a Kentucky commit.
Shawn Semple, Paul VI/Univ. of New Orleans: A junior right-hander, Semple was taken in the 11th round (332 overall) by the New York Yankees.
Zach Warren, St. Augustine/Tennessee: A junior left-hander, Warren was selected by the Phillies in the 14th round (413 overall).
Troy Dixon, Egg Harbor Twp./St. John’s: A senior catcher, Dixon was taken by the Seattle Mariners in the 20th round (603 overall).
Donovan Casey, Sterling/Boston College: A junior outfielder, Casey was picked in the 20th round (610 overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers.