Recently drafted Madison Mallards pitcher Alec Mills has told team officials he plans to sign with the Kansas City organization and will no longer be playing in Madison this summer.
Mills, who was drafted by the Royals in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft, was one of three current and 14 former players picked on Tuesday, the second day of selections.
After two starts with the Mallards, Mills was tied for second in the league with 17 strikeouts and held a 1.39 earned-run average.
Mallards president Vern Stenman said the team deals with players leaving after the draft each year and that he understands why Mills made the decision.
“He looks like he’s got a really high ceiling,” he said. “Based on what we saw, he’s got a very nice future ahead of him.”
The other current players selected were pitchers Will Lamarche, who went in the 18th round to Minnesota, and Justin Topa, who was picked in the 33rd round by Cincinnati.
Stenman said the team hasn’t heard if Lamarche or Topa plan to sign professional contracts, but that he expects both players to remain with the Mallards because they are each coming off Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.
Lamarche is further along in his rehabilitation, but has pitched just three innings, striking out seven while giving up three earned runs. Topa won’t make his first appearance of the season until June 21.
“I was kind of surprised that Topa was drafted because of the point where he was at in his rehab, but it really says a lot about the kid’s ability that he was drafted,” Stenman said.
The highest selected former Mallard was Stephen Bruno, who last played with the Mallards in 2010. Bruno was a seventh-round pick by the Chicago Cubs and hit .370 at Virginia this year while leading the team with 54 runs batted in.