LOS ANGELES — As day turned into night on Major League Baseball Draft night, a child’s dreams did not require rest, but their open eyes as their childhood dreams finally became a reality.
As the thump of a single heartbeat becomes consciously recognizable and the constant reminder to breathe follows, a mixture of elation and raw memories ensues.
From the grueling days and nights infused with fatigue and exhaustion, the scrutiny, self-doubt, and sacrifices from oneself and those who showed love and support throughout the years, we can confirm that baseball players are allowed to cry happy tears.
With a wide range of talent across the country, a large pool of Latino talent was eligible to be drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft. Many of the Draft prospects are of Latino descent, born and raised in the country that birthed the game of baseball.
Listed below are the Latino prospects who are now a part of a Major League organization:
New York Mets, Round: 1 Pick: 11
H/W: 6’1”/197 lbs.
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
College: Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
Kevin Parada was at a loss for words after being drafted 11th overall by the New York Mets, soaking in the moment with an infectious smile stamped on his 6’1” frame, “I’m just ready to go and try to make myself ready to help the Mets win more.” An arousing cheer came from the section of Xbox Plaza where the 20-year-old and his family sat as the Major League Baseball commissioner announced that Parada was drafted to the Amazin’s. Born and raised in Pasadena, CA, the 20-year-old will be packing his bag across the country to join an organization that is serious about winning games and championships.
Los Angeles Angels Round: 1 Pick: 13
H/W: 6’0”/ 185 lbs.
Hometown: Miami, FL
College: Campbell University
Zach Neto was swarmed with hugs from a tearful family that had just witnessed the Campbell shortstop get drafted 13th overall by the Los Angeles Angels. Neto would venture down the I-5 and to the city of Anaheim and take on the opportunity of a lifetime. “I’m very excited, you know, playing the whole year with a lot of expectations, a lot of hype. Just kind of not letting that get to me. So, now that the season’s over and my name is got called, you know, the stress is finally off my shoulders, and now I’m coming to LA, and I’m playing.
All the teams that passed on me this past draft, It’s just it’s gonna hurt them at the end of the day.”
Toronto Blue Jays, Round: 1 Pick: 23
H/W: 6’1”/170 lbs.
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
High School: American Heritage
“Looking at those 22 teams before me, you know they’re gonna regret this,” The 18-year-old said in his first moments as a Toronto Blue Jay. Barriera was predicted to go at pick No. 15 in most mock drafts but fell to later picks in the first round. The left-handed pitcher has proven his skills are consistent and dominant and is considered one of the most polished pitchers in this year’s draft class. The Nuyorican from Brooklyn, NY will join an organization that is infused with Caribbean talent and hopes to one day join a rotation that also includes Puerto Rican pitcher and LatinoMVP José Berríos.
Boston Red Sox, Round: 1 Pick: 24
Position: SS/2B (MINF), 3B
H/W: 6’1”/175 lbs.
Hometown: Menifee, CA
High School: Orange Lutheran
The LSU commit was drafted by Alex Cora’s Boston Red Sox and takes his talents to a heavily infested — and talented — infield organization. Romero is a tricky and masterful infielder with a boat load of power from the left side of the plate. Romero was the No.65 protect on MLB.com but has been honored to be a first-round draft pick.
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