Prep Baseball

Spencer Van Scoyoc and Levi Usher, former Cedar Rapids preps, taken in MLB Draft

Van Scoyoc will turn pro with Phillies, Usher undecided on his future

Cedar Rapids Jefferson pitcher Spencer Van Scoyoc during practice at Lower Kingston Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Jefferson pitcher Spencer Van Scoyoc during practice at Lower Kingston Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS – Spencer Van Scoyoc gained exactly 12 spots in three years. But this time he’s ready to give professional baseball a shot.

“Yeah, I’m going to go,” the former Cedar Rapids Jefferson prep said Wednesday afternoon, shortly after he found out he was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.

The left-handed pitcher was selected in the 19th round out of high school but decided to attend Arizona State instead. He transferred to NCAA Division II Central Oklahoma for this season and is giving up a final year of college eligibility for a shot at the big leagues.

Philadelphia took Van Scoyoc as the 570th overall pick. He was the 582nd overall pick back in 2016.

“I spent three years in college, and, this time, I figure it’s time to start it. Start my career,” Van Scoyoc said. “There have been some ups and downs. It’s been a long journey. But I’m excited now to have another shot in pro ball. I’m just going to do my thing.”

Van Scoyoc had an earned run average this season over 6.00 at Central Oklahoma and walked more batters than innings pitched. Control was an issue for him at Arizona State as well.

But he’s a lefty with a good arm. He’ll join younger brother, Connor, in professional baseball.

Connor Van Scoyoc was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels last year out of Jefferson, signed and is awaiting his first pro outing.

“That’s really exciting,” Spencer said. “It’s something that we’ve talked about since we were little kids. I’m glad to be in pro ball with him.”

Former Cedar Rapids Prairie outfielder Levi Usher also was drafted Wednesday, by the Angels in the 37th round with the 1,111th-overall pick. Usher recently completed his freshman season at Kirkwood Community College and is a Louisville commit.

His immediate plans are to join the La Crosse Loggers of the summer collegiate Northwoods League. Beyond that, he’s unsure what will happen.

“I’m glad I got drafted. It’s a milestone in my baseball career, I guess,” Usher said. “It’s still pretty open-ended. The Angels called me and congratulated me. They are going to give me a few days to think it over, maybe more. But I’m also going to the Northwoods League, and they might come and watch me play there, something like that. I’m not really sure right now (what I’m going to do). I’ll take some time and then make up my mind, I guess.”

University of Iowa senior pitcher Cole McDonald was drafted by the Houston Astros with the penultimate pick in the 15th round. A New Hampton native, McDonald has no college eligibility remaining and will sign and turn pro.

He’ll join former Iowa teammate Jake Adams in the Astros organization. Iowa has had a MLB draftee 13 consecutive years.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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