By MIKE MONACO (Broadcaster)
WAREHAM, MA: Two former Wareham Gatemen were chosen in the first 15 picks of the MLB Draft on Thursday night, with catcher Kyle Schwarber (2012, 2013) landing with the Chicago Cubs at No. 4 overall and left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb (2012, 2013) going to the Los Angeles Angels with the 15th pick.
Schwarber and Newcomb are the highest-drafted Gatemen pair since 2004, when Jeremy Sowers and Wade Townsend were selected sixth and eighth overall, respectively.
Schwarber, who is the highest-drafted Gateman in at least the last 15 years, played in all 44 regular-season games in 2012 and led the team with a .343 batting average. The slugger from Indiana University also blasted eight home runs and tallied 38 RBIs. During Wareham’s thrilling Cape Cod League championship run, Schwarber notched eight hits. The two biggest came in the final game of the championship series against Yarmouth-Dennis, when he launched a pair of late home runs en route to the 8-6 win.
Schwarber was set to return to Wareham in 2013 but earned a roster spot with the USA Collegiate National Team. Still, the Middletown, Ohio native honored his promise to Gatemen manager Cooper Farris and arrived to the Cape following the national team circuit. In nine games, Schwarber hit .432 with a home run and three RBIs.
During his career at Indiana, Schwarber batted .341 with 40 home runs and 149 RBIs in 180 games.
Newcomb, meanwhile, made four appearances in an injury-shortened summer with the Gatemen in 2012. Following a solid sophomore season at the University of Hartford (Conn.), Newcomb returned to the Cape in 2013. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound left-hander started on opening day against Chatham and tossed six shutout innings. However, Newcomb suffered an illness and did not pitch again until July. In his first start back, the southpaw overpowered Hyannis with seven shutout frames of four-hit baseball.
In his junior season with the Hawks, Newcomb posted the eighth-lowest ERA in the nation at 1.25. He racked up 106 strikeouts and opened the season by not allowing an earned run through his first 40 innings, making him the last starter in the NCAA to allow an earned run. Newcomb was tabbed as the America East Pitcher of the Year.
Wareham had multiple first-round selections for the first time since 2011, when George Springer, Jed Bradley and Matt Barnes were all selected in the first 19 picks. Thursday marked the fifth time in the last 15 years the Gatemen have had multiple first-round (non-supplemental) picks.
Schwarber was the first former Cape Cod League player chosen — the second time in the last 15 drafts that the first former Cape Leaguer off the board was a Gateman. Springer was the first Cape League player drafted in 2011.
Former Wareham right-hander Spencer Turnbull (2013) joined Schwarber and Newcomb later Thursday night when he was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 63rd overall pick. Turnbull made six appearances (three starts) for Wareham last summer, totaling 16.1 innings and a 3.85 ERA. As a junior at Alabama, Turnbull led the Crimson Tide with 93.1 innings pitched, while working toward a 2.22 ERA.
The MLB Draft continues Friday with rounds three through 10, beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to the Wareham Gatemen Baseball Facebook page and the @WarehamGatemen Twitter account for breaking news and information throughout the draft weekend.