Twins’ draft picks played together before
Published 10:36 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015
With the Elizabethton Twins starting their season last night, there was no time to sit around and watch Game 2 of the College World Series between Virginia and Vanderbilt. But at least two members of the Twins were eagerly rooting for a Vanderbilt win.
LaMonte Wade and Alex Robinson, recent draft picks from the University of Maryland, saw their past two seasons come to an end by the hands of the Virginia Cavaliers in the Super Regionals.
“I have some friends on Vanderbilt,” said Robinson, a pitcher the Twins selected in the fifth round. “UVA beat us in back-to-back Super Regionals, so there is a little bit of a salty feeling with those guys, but it is going to be a good baseball game.”
And while Robinson and Wade are happy with the stage they’re currently on in their careers, there is no doubt the two would rather be someplace else.
“I love that I am here and everything, but I wish that we could have been in Omaha,” Wade said. “That’s two years in a row that Virginia got the best of us, but they are a good program and we tip our hat to them. We had a great year at the University of Maryland and that program is only on the rise.”
The two were a part of a school record 42-win team and were also part of a record number eight Terrapins that were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft in 2015. But they aren’t the only players from the state of Maryland on the team.
Sean Miller, a shortstop who was drafted out of USC-Aiken in the 10th round, is from Crofton, Md., and played his school ball against Wade in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Miller played at Spalding, while Wade attended St. Paul.
There is no doubt that it is a small world for Wade, a ninth-round selection, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Los Angeles Region when the Terrapins upset the top-seeded UCLA team to advance to the Regionals.
“We also played on the same showcase team,” Wade said of Miller. “So it’s really cool being with him too, we had a really strong relationship in high school and we kept in touch in college.”
But it was college where Wade’s game flourished, and for his first year in College Park, he and Robinson were roommates. It only seems fitting that since they started their college careers together, they will do the same with their professional careers.
“It’s great to be here sharing this moment with people that you know,” Wade said. “We all want to work as hard as we can and just keep advancing in our careers, and maybe we can do that together.”
After Robinson heard his name called in the fifth round, surrounded by family, teammates and friends, it would be only four rounds later that another celebration ensued.
“When they called my name, I was real excited,” Robinson said. “My mom started to tear up, my dad was real excited, my brother was jumping up and down and my teammates tackled me. A few hours later LaMonte’s name got called and we all ran over to his room and he was getting off the phone with John Wilson and we were all really excited and hopefully we will get to play together for a really long time.”
Each has already played at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins, during Maryland’s Big Ten championship contest against Michigan. While they lost 4-3, Robinson said the experience was like non other.
“It was an awesome experience,” Robinson said. “I’ve only pitched in two other pro stadiums and I thought the Minnesota Twins stadium was amazing. The double decker bullpen out in center was amazing and then after that, pitching on the mound, I felt pretty comfortable there, so hopefully that will transfer over.”
There is no doubt that both Wade and Robinson would like to make a return trip to the Twin Cities, but this time they would like to call it home.