OCALA-- College of Central Florida right-handed pitchers Mark Potter and Franklin Hernandez were selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday afternoon. Potter and Hernandez became the third and fourth Patriot pitchers drafted in the past two years under head coach Marty Smith, five overall since 2014. CF ranks No. 2 among Florida JUCOs for most pitchers drafted in the past two years.
Potter was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 19th round, while the Dominican native Hernandez was taken in the 37th round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Potter, a transfer from Jacksonville University, appeared in 18 games for the Patriots this season, starting 14, and amassed a 7-5 record with a 4.07 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings pitched. Potter finished the year Top 16 in the state in total wins. The Melbourne, Fla. native recorded five or more strike outs in seven games during his sophomore campaign, notching a season-high eight strike outs against Lake-Sumter State College on April 29 to help CF clinch the final Mid-Florida Conference state tournament spot. In the playoff game, Potter allowed just one run on three hits in six innings to lead CF past the LakeHawks 11-1 (8 innings).
Hernandez appeared in 14 games in his first year with the Patriots, starting four games, and recorded a 3-1 record with three saves and a 1.96 ERA. He struck out 44 in 44 1/3 innings pitched. Hernandez's best outing of the year came against conference rival Seminole State College on April 14 in which he tossed a complete game two-hitter and struck out 10 in the 10-0 (5 innings) run-rule.
In addition to Potter and Hernandez, two former Patriots were also selected in this year's draft. Former third baseman Luke Heyer (University of Kentucky) was selected in the 8th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers and RHP David Lebron (University of Tampa) was taken in the 26th round by the Houston Astros.
In 2017, the Patriots had two pitchers drafted in the annual MLB draft, including first rounder Nate Pearson. The right-hander became the highest drafted player in CF program history when the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Pearson 28th overall. Jackson Stoeckinger was drafted in the 12th round by the Washington Nationals.