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Santa Barbara High Pitcher Kevin Gowdy Selected 42nd in MLB Draft

Baseball standout picked by Philadelphia Phillies in second round

Kevin Gowdy, a recent Santa Barbara High graduate, was selected 42nd overall in the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday evening.
Kevin Gowdy, a recent Santa Barbara High graduate, was selected 42nd overall in the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday evening. (Noozhawk photo file)

Santa Barbara High ace Kevin Gowdy, was selected 42nd overall in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday evening. 

The 6-foot-4, 170 pound right-handed pitcher had been predicted to go in the first round by multiple analysts. Heading into the night, Gowdy was slotted as the 37th-ranked draft prospect by MLB.com and Baseball America had him ranked 39th.

"It's a huge honor to be drafted the Phillies, and something I've worked for my entire life," Gowdy told Noozhawk on Friday morning. "I've heard nothing but great things about their organization and I'm thankful they chose me last night."

The Phillies, who had the top pick in the draft, selected Mickey Moniak, an outfielder from La Costa Canyon High School in San Diego, before choosing Gowdy.

"My initial reaction to hearing my name being called was really exciting," he said. "It seemed surreal and it didn't hit me at first."

Gowdy posted a record of 5-3 this season to go along with an impressive 1.10 earned run average. Gowdy had great control, striking out 104 batters and walking only six in 63 innings.

Scouts were impressed with the 18-year-old's excellent command and strong work ethic.

Kevin Gowdy posted a record of 5-3 to go along with an impressive 1.10 earned run average this season for the Dons. Click to view larger
Kevin Gowdy posted a record of 5-3 to go along with an impressive 1.10 earned run average this season for the Dons. (Noozhawk file photo)

“He’s a young right-handed pitcher who has the ability to command the baseball at such a young age,” Phillies scouting director Johnny Almaraz told CSNPhilly. “He has an above-average fastball and good breaking stuff. I’m a believer you can’t teach somebody how to pitch. He’s got that innate ability to pitch and get hitters out and that’s what we want in this organization, frontline pitchers.”

During his time with Santa Barbara, he twice earned All-Channel League First Team distinctions. Recently, Gowdy was named Prep Baseball Player of the Year by Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.

Gowdy expressed his appreciation for his high school coaches. He played for Fred Warrecker as a sophomore and junior and Donny Warrecker for his senior season.

"I think the biggest thing from Santa Barbara High that will help me at the next level is our coaches and how they hold you accountable just like they will in college or professional baseball. You have to show up every day on time and be present. They also preach responsibility and being a good person, which is more important than being a good baseball player."

Last June, the lanky right-hander caught the eyes of many scouts with an impressive performance at the Perfect Game National Showcase. Facing some of the best amateur baseball players in the nation, Gowdy threw two scoreless innings and struck out four. He also helped Team USA win the Under-18 Baseball World Cup last September in Japan.

Gowdy has a scholarship to UCLA. He said he has until late July to decide on signing with the Phillies.

— Noozhawk sports reporter Blake DeVine can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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