Steve Ascher Drafted by Tampa Bay Rays
Former SUNY Oneonta baseball player Steve Ascher, who just completed his third season at Oneonta, was drafted Saturday by the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball in the 17th round of the amateur draft. Ascher, a left-hander, was the third Division III pitcher and the only player from a New York college selected in this year’s draft. He was the 518th overall pick. The first Division III pitcher taken, Trevor Lubking of Pacific Lutheran, also a left-handed pitcher, was taken in the 14th round by the Rays. In all, there were 15 players selected from the Division III ranks.
Ascher is the first Oneonta baseball player drafted since 2010 when Dave Filak was taken in the fourth round by the Atlanta Braves. Ascher signed his contract today and will play for the Princeton (VA) Rays of the Rookie League.
“I couldn’t be happier for Steve,” said SUNY Oneonta head baseball coach Ben Grimm. “To see how far he’s come since his freshman year has been something special.”
Ascher was the SUNYAC Pitcher of the Year and finished the season with a record of 6-4 with a 1.82 ERA. In 10 starts this spring he recorded three complete games while registering two shutouts. He struck out 82 batters, which led the SUNYAC, in 69 innings while holding opponents to a .193 batting average against. He was a first team All-SUNYAC selection and was named to the D3Baseball.com All-New York Region first team.
Ascher’s season highlight was a complete game, four-hit, shutout against Kean University, which was ranked No. 3 at the time of the game.
“I think today allowed me to realize that all the hard work does pay off,” he said. “Now I need to continue working hard and stay inspired, dedicated and motivated to reach my goal to play in the Major Leagues.”