Posted: 3:42 pm Thursday, June 7th, 2012

MLB Draft: John I. Leonard alum Ronald Pena signs with Washington Nationals 

By Matt Porter

Ronald Pena, a John I. Leonard graduate, signed with the Washington Nationals.

Pena

Pena

On Wednesday, the Greenacres native was selected in the 16th round (504th overall) by the Nats.

Signing was sweet for Pena, who began his college baseball career at the College of Charleston (S.C.) but decided to play at Palm Beach State last season.

“Economically I couldn’t go back to Charleston,” Pena said. “It costs a lot of money to go there. I decided to save some money and return home for a little bit. It definitely worked out for the best.”

Pena’s bonus is expected to be no more than $100,000. Bonuses for players drafted after the first 10 rounds do not count against a team’s signing budget unless they exceed $100,000.

Pena, a right-hander who touched 95 mph at the JUCO state tournament, went 9-2 last season for Palm Beach State. He had a 2.72 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 76 innings.

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