Central Connecticut senior Dean Lockery was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 32nd round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday. Lockery, who was also named All-Northeast Conference First Team and earned All-New England honors for the third time in his career is the second Blue Devil taken in the MLB Draft in as many years.
As a senior, Lockery started all 46 games for the Blue Devils and led the team with a .331 batting average and 44 runs scored. He also collected a team-high 57 hits and eight doubles. Lockery hit four homeruns and drove in 19 runs, while also drawing 36 walks atop the CCSU lineup. He ranked second in the NEC in walks, fifth in batting, and fourth in on-base percentage (.443) and runs scored. In conference games only, Lockery drew an NEC-high 26 walks, while ranking fourth in runs (29) and on base percentage (.470), seventh in hits (36) and eighth in average (.343). He was also among the defensive leaders in conference games in assists (57) and double plays (17).
For his career, Lockery started all 209 games over four seasons, while posting a .323 batting average. He is among CCSU's all-time leaders in at bats (4th, 768), doubles (t-4th, 48), hits (t-5th, 248), runs scored (7th, 140), and total bases (7th, 324). He also set a CCSU single-season record with 280 plate appearances and 52 walks in 2017, while also tying the program's single season record with 22 doubles in helping the Blue Devils win the NEC title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. The infielder is a three-time First Team All-Northeast Conference honoree and was named All-New England Second Team in 2017 along with being a Third Team pick this season and in 2016. He also earned All-ECAC Second Team honors in 2017 after leading Central to a conference championship and the NCAA Tournament.
Lockery was pick 954 overall and it marks the second straight year a Blue Devil was taken in the draft after Ryan Costello was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 31st round in 2017. Costello, who is currently playing for the Mariners' Class A ballclub Clinton LumberKings, was named to the 54th Midwest League All-Star Game. Costello leads the team in home runs (eight), tied for fifth in the league, and is tied for the Mariners organization lead in RBIs with 38. His 15 doubles on the season have him tied for fourth in the league and his 24 extra-base hits have him tied for third in the league.
Former Blue Devil J.P. Sportman was taken in the 27th round of the 2014 draft by the Oakland A's and is currently at Double A in the A's organization with the Midland RockHounds. He has played in 52 games and is batting .289 with six homeruns and 13 stolen bases. Former CCSU hurler Evan Scribner was drafted in the 28th round of the 2007 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Scribner is currently a member of the New Britain Bees after spending seven seasons with major league ballclubs. Another former Blue Devil, Nick Neumann was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 28th round of the 2014 draft.
Former CCSU All-Conference pick Rob Hosgood was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2004 Draft in the 24th Round. In 2003, Barry Hertzler was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th Round. Hertzler spent six seasons in the Red Sox organization including two seasons in AAA Pawtucket.
Another pair of former Blue Devils, Casey Brown (Philadelphia Phillies) and Connor Fitzsimons (LA Angels of Anaheim), signed professional contracts with MLB organizations in 2016 and are currently in the minor leagues.