Alex Tomasovich, a college baseball player as consistent as birds chirping in the morning, hopes to get drafted by a Major League team this weekend.
That his cellphone will no doubt be charged and he’ll be ready for a call from a team – any team – should surprise no one who knows him. Reliability has proven to be one of his hallmarks.
Tomasovich played baseball for Brad Mercer at Fort Mill High School, graduating in 2010. He recently put the wraps on an excellent four years at Charleston Southern University, where he started 208 games as a left-sided infielder, hit .331 for his career and set himself up for the likely possibility that an MLB team gives him that all-important phone call.
“You always worry about your seniors that don’t get respect; I think he will in the draft,” said Charleston Southern coach Stuart Lake. “I’m not sure round-wise, I’m hearing a lot of different things, but I’m hearing a lot of teams that want to give him an opportunity. I feel like he’s a guy that should get drafted.”
Tomasovich will be in Fort Mill for the duration of the draft, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday. He’s almost certain he won’t be picked in Thursday night’s first two rounds.
“I’ll probably have my phone pretty close the second, but mostly the third day,” he said.
Lake thinks Tomasovich will be selected in that “20th round, somewhere in that area, which is very respectful for seniors.”
Since the Bucs’ season ended at Winthrop in the Big South tournament two weeks ago, Tomasovich has been working out with the Asheboro Copperheads, the Coastal Plains League team he played with for the last two summers. He takes batting practice before games then scoots out of the way.
On the business side, Tomasovich has an adviser leading up to the draft, though they won’t sign any official documents regarding representation until after he gets drafted.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound infielder has personally spoken with representatives from the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and the Anaheim Angels, while Lake mentioned the Boston Red Sox had been in contact about the Fort Mill native as well. That stems from forms that Tomasovich filled out before his junior and senior seasons, about 10 in all, from Major League Baseball clubs seeking his general information, chiefly his medical history and cellphone number. Tomasovich saw some of the scouts throughout the season, but contact was very limited.
“I’ve talked to a few guys and they said they’re interested but they haven’t really said a specific round,” he noted.
The MLB draft is pretty nebulous and opaque, but Tomasovich feels confident he has a skill-set that interests pro teams. Several scouts that talked with Lake said they liked Tomasovich as a second baseman. He played shortstop for three years for the Bucs, and also played third base this season.
“A lot of guys respect what he did, playing shortstop for three years and then moving over to third his senior year, I think he showed people he can play different positions,” said Lake, who added that Tomasovich’s move to third was intended to help the team and didn’t reflect on his ability to play that position. “I’d have been fine with him right there at short if we’d been able to. So yeah, there’s no question to me he can play middle infield.”
Tomasovich thinks his height as an infielder gives him “a little more reach, a little more range defensively,” while translating into more power at the plate. The latter part is supported by four years of evidence at Charleston Southern. Tomasovich only hit below .343 once in his career, and also knocked in 100 runs and hit 53 doubles. He struck out only 71 times in his career, while drawing 84 walks. It’s left some scouts visiting Charleston Southern to wonder why there isn’t more positive fuss surrounding Tomasovich.
“They do their job and they try to find out details, and they say ‘What’s wrong with this guy?’ And I laugh and say, ‘I don’t know!’ ” said Lake. “Haven’t found anything wrong with him yet. For four years he was a great student, a great teammate and a great player. I wish I knew how to recruit guys like him every day.”
Tomasovich, whose younger brother Andrew is a left-handed sophomore pitcher at Charleston Southern, saved his best season for last. He was named first team All-Big South after hitting .361 this past spring for the Bucs, with five home runs and 44 RBIs in 56 starts. The well-framed senior drew 23 walks and struck out only 16 times in 261 plate appearances. He also made nine errors in 154 fielding chances, a 94 percent defensive success rate.
Those numbers followed a junior season in which Tomasovich started all 56 games at shortstop for the Bucs and hit .343. He had 21 multi-hit games, and hit safely in 22 of Charleston Southern’s final 23 games. He started 112 straight games his last two seasons at the school, a weather vane aiming directly at his consistency.
Expect that to continue at the next level. The enticing build, the ability to hit for average, and perhaps most importantly, the even temperament should make Tomasovich a productive pro for years to come.
“He’s the same guy every day. You walk up, you didn’t know if he was 4-for-4 or 0-for-4,” said Lake. “I think that really bodes well going into a career where you’re gonna have 0-for-4s as much as you have 4-for-4s.”
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T