No, Drew is not a baseball draft junkie nor is he in need of a new hobby. The former Canfield and current Akron baseball player was so interested because he was waiting to see his own name flash on his computer screen. Finally, in the 24th round of this multiday marathon, Turocy did see his name when the Boston Red Sox were on the clock. When Turocy was drafted by the popular New England franchise it put to an end an excruciating exercise in patience.
“We watched the draft pick by pick,” said a relieved Turocy on Tuesday. “It was very stressful because my name wasn’t getting called. When it did I was very excited.”
Excitement was something Turocy brought with him to the diamond starting way back in his Canfield days. That emotion was continued when he joined Akron where he batted .344 with 109 RBIs for his career. That career of this All-MAC standout almost was derailed a couple years ago, however, when Turocy needed Tommy John surgery on his arm. The former pitcher required plenty of rehab to get back to the point of being a top MLB prospect. For Turocy, waiting to get drafted was not nearly as painful as working his way back to becoming a draft possibility.
“It took a lot of hard work,” Turocy explained. “You can’t get down on yourself. You need to be dedicated.”
Dedication is one trait that Turocy was known for at Canfield where he helped the Cardinals win a 2007 state championship. That is why one of his former Canfield coaches was not shocked when he heard the good news about his ex-player.
“It doesn’t surprise me (that Drew got drafted),” said Cardinals head coach Matt Koenig. “He would never quit after practice. He would go home, get something to eat, study then join some teammates for extra batting practice around 9 at night. It took that kind of hard work for him to come back from Tommy John surgery. He’s been through a lot.”
Turocy has also been through a major position change in the last couple of seasons. He was an ace for Koenig on the pitching mound and went to Akron as a pitcher/outfielder. Turocy was playing centerfield for a few innings then he would come in to pitch late inning relief. That stress did not help his arm so when the time came for this .300 hitter to get serious about turning professional, it was decided Drew would ditch pitching.
“The best chance to make it was an outfielder,” Turocy said honestly. “So I started focusing on my hitting.”
Although Boston was eventually the team to call Turocy’s name on Tuesday, there were about a half dozen other squads who were interested as well.
“I had a general idea I’d be drafted,” Turocy said positively. “I had some good conversations with the Red Sox.”
Turocy, his family and his personal advisor will soon meet with the area scout who recommended him to the Sox to negotiate his contract. Drew does have eligibility left at Akron so he is not forced to sign a major league contract. The outfielder does have an idea what he is going to do when that meeting happens, but he was not ready to make that announcement official so soon. Regardless of which avenue Turocy travels, coach Koenig believes he will be a hit.
“(Turocy) is going to succeed no matter what he does,” Koenig claimed. “It feels good to have coached someone who is going to be so successful.”
Conversely, Turocy thought that the lessons he learned at Canfield were invaluable to his future.
“I grew as a person and a player (at Canfield),” Turocy said. “(Being a student/athlete at Canfield) developed the way I am today.”
Today, Turocy is a draftee of the Boston Red Sox. Fans of that storied organization are known as “Red Sox Nation.” Nation members are infamous for chewing up and spitting out players they disapprove of. Turocy thinks that when the time comes when he is standing in the outfield at Fenway Park, those rowdy rooters will have no choice but to cheer for him.
“Hopefully the fans will accept how passionate (for playing baseball) I am,” he said.
Cardinal Nation already knew that. It is just a matter of time until Red Sox Nation learns the same thing.
Town Crier archive photos
Canfield pitcher Drew Turocy watches as this pitch makes its way to home plate. This one was high and outside, but he threw enough strikes to record the win over the Niles Red Dragons at 7-4 in 2006.