Posted: 2:47 pm Saturday, June 8th, 2013

MLB Draft: Summit Christian’s Costa, other Palm Beach players chosen on final day 

By Matt Porter

Several Palm Beach County players were selected on the final day of the MLB Draft, which concludes Saturday with Rounds 11-40:

* Palm Beach State right-hander John Costa, a Summit Christian alum who helped pitch the Saints to the 2011 Class 1A state championship, was taken in 13th round (406th overall) by the Washington Nationals.

“One of the most amazing feelings ever. It’s such a blessing. I’m so happy and my family is happy.”

Costa, a sophomore, did not pitch for Palm Beach State last season due to Tommy John surgery.

“It was a big loss to the team,” Palm Beach State coach Kyle Forbes said. “Great arm and competitor.”

He signed with Florida International out of high school, transferred to Palm Beach State after his freshman year and felt right at home. However, he suffered a tear in his pitching elbow before appearing in a game and had surgery in March. He will start throwing again in a month and won’t throw off a mound for another months, and is targeting a return in 2014.

“When it first happened, I thought I’d have to wait a year [to be drafted],” Costa said. “Then [scouts] started calling me and asking me for my surgery notes. So I thought I had a shot. I had no idea what round I’d go. I was very surprised and happy, obviously.”

* Indian River State left-hander Alexander Rodriguez, a Trinity Christian grad and native of Willemstad, Curacao, went in the 16th round (469th overall) to the Colorado Rockies. Rodriguez is a 6-foot-5, 195-pound freshman.

* Appalachian State lefty Rob Marcello, who played at Royal Palm Beach and spent two years at Indian River State, was chosen by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 17th round (511th overall). Marcello, a senior, pitched well as the Mountaineers’ closer last season (read more here).

* Florida senior shortstop Cody Dent, of Park Vista, went in the 22nd round (676th overall) to the Washington Nationals. Dent is the son of former New York Yankees all-star Bucky Dent. His teammate, Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel, was a 29th-round pick (863rd overall) of the Boston Red Sox, who drafted him as an outfielder. Other Gator draftees: lefty Daniel Gibson (7th, 210) and righties Johnny Magliozzi (17th, 506) and Karsten Whitson (37th, 1126). Another right-hander, Jonathon Crawford of Okeechobee High, went 20th overall to the Detroit Tigers.

* Jensen Beach righty Taylor Blatch, a Florida State signee, went in 27th round (800th overall) to the Minnesota Twins.

* One we missed: On Friday, South Fork alum Brandon Bednar, a shortstop and right-handed pitcher at Florida Gulf Coast, was taken in the seventh round (222nd overall) by the San Francisco Giants.

* Another Palm Beach connection in the draft: Shane Rowland, a junior catcher at Tampa, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 20th round (591st overall). Rowland, the son of New York Yankees international scouting director Donny Rowland, attended Pope John Paul II for two years before transferring to Tampa Catholic, where he graduated.