SPORTS

Cedar Rapids Jefferson's Spencer Van Scoyoc drafted by MLB's Toronto Blue Jays

3 Iowa Hawkeyes also taken during final day of 2016 draft

Cedar Rapids Jefferson pitcher Spencer Van Scoyoc takes the mound against Cedar Rapids Prairie during a Class 4A substate game at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids on Friday, July 18, 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
Cedar Rapids Jefferson pitcher Spencer Van Scoyoc takes the mound against Cedar Rapids Prairie during a Class 4A substate game at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids on Friday, July 18, 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Spencer Van Scoyoc experienced the vagaries of the Major League Baseball Draft this weekend. Not necessarily in a good way.

The Cedar Rapids Jefferson pitcher was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round Saturday, the 582nd-overall pick. It didn’t take you long to hear some disappointment in his voice.

“I was pretty anxious the whole time,” Van Scoyoc said. “There were a lot of projections (for me). Not many of them went as planned.”

The 6-foot-4 left-hander seemed to help his draft cause late by hitting 92 miles per hour with his fastball at a showcase in mid-May. He always has been a very good two-way player at Jefferson, so it’s easy to project him to improve if he sticks solely to the mound.

Van Scoyoc is the second prep player from Jefferson to be drafted by the Blue Jays. Kellen Sweeney was Toronto’s second-round pick in 2010 but never advanced past high-Class A.

Solon outfielder Derrick Loveless signed with Toronto in 2011 as a 27th-round draft pick and is playing at high-A Dunedin. The Blue Jays’ area scout is Joe Panik of Clive.

“It is pretty exciting,” Van Scoyoc said. “Now I can relax and enjoy the rest of the day.”

Van Scoyoc has signed to play at Arizona State, so he’s got leverage when it comes to contract negotiations. He said he is amenable to turning pro if the signing bonus is to he and his family’s liking.

His father, Aaron, was drafted in the 38th round in 1988 out of Norway High School and signed the following year with the New York Yankees after they took him in the 21st round out of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Aaron Van Scoyoc was a .233 hitter in 269 career minor-league games.

Spencer’s grandfather, Jim, is the former legendary coach at Norway.

“If I don’t sign, going to Arizona State is a great situation to have,” Van Scoyoc said.

The final day of the 2016 draft saw six players with Iowa ties get selected. Cedar Rapids Washington grad A.J. Puk went in Thursday night’s first round, sixth overall, to the Oakland Athletics, while Sioux City’s Dom Thompson-Williams went Friday in the fifth round to the New York Yankees as an outfielder from the University of South Carolina.

The University of Iowa had three players drafted Saturday: senior outfielder Joel Booker (22nd round, Chicago White Sox), senior shortstop Nick Roscetti (26th round, Milwaukee Brewers) and senior pitcher Tyler Peyton (29th round, Chicago Cubs). Waterloo Columbus graduate Michael Letkewicz was taken in the 23rd round by the Cleveland Indians out of Augustana (S.D.) University.

The Pittsburgh Pirates took University of Nebraska pitcher Ben Miller in the 32nd round. He’s a West Des Moines Valley grad.

Former Martensdale-St. Mary’s prep Justin Nielsen, a senior at Illinois, was drafted in the 34th round by the Los Angeles Angels. MLB teams have until July 15 to sign their picks.

How They're Doing

Colin Rea (Cascade): Promoted back to the big leagues (Padres) after a short stint in Triple-A. Is 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA in 11 games, 10 starts.
Scott Schebler (Cedar Rapids Prairie): Outfielder has hits in eight of his last nine games (entering Saturday), boosting his batting average to .272 in 29 games for Triple-A Louisville (Reds). Has four home runs and 14 RBIs.
Chad Christensen (Cedar Rapids Washington): Was released by Minnesota Twins last week after hitting .190 in 42 games for high-Class A Fort Myers. Was a .254 career hitter in 330 minor-league games.
Matt Dermody (University of Iowa): Relief pitcher flourishing at Double-A New Hampshire (Double-A), unscored upon in six appearances spanning 9 2/3 innings. Began season at high-A Dunedin, then was promoted.
Jon Keller (Cedar Rapids Xavier): Reliever is 0-2 with a save and 5.91 ERA for Double-A Bowie (Orioles). Has not pitched in eight days going into Saturday.
Mitch Keller (Cedar Rapids Xavier): Pitcher is 4-4 with a 2.32 ERA in 11 starts for low-A West Virginia (Pirates). Has a tremendous WHIP of 0.79. Has 69 strikeouts in 62 innings.
Jake Yacinich (University of Iowa): Shortstop hitting .239 in 23 games for low-A Burlington (Angels), with career-high four home runs and 12 RBIs.
l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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