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Pace standouts selected in Major League Baseball draft
by Greg Oshust
June 19, 2014 08:54 AM | 3585 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo / Pace center fielder Raphael Ramirez was selected in the Major League Baseball draft, along with teammate Kameron Uter.
Special Photo / Pace center fielder Raphael Ramirez was selected in the Major League Baseball draft, along with teammate Kameron Uter.
Kameron Uter and Raphael Ramirez have college baseball scholarships secured after finishing outstanding careers at Pace this spring.

Now, Uter and Ramirez each have an extra option to consider as the Knight stalwarts were selected in the Major League Baseball draft June 5 through 7.

Uter, a pitcher who signed for both baseball and football with Wake Forest, was selected in the 12th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It’s a very, very good accomplishment,” Uter said. “It shows that my hard work is starting to pay off a little bit now and the fact that I got drafted among the 1,200, 1,500 people that got drafted in the whole country — for that matter, the whole world — this year for the 2014 draft is a very good accomplishment. It’s very exciting for me.”

Ramirez – a center fielder who signed with North Carolina State – was an 18th-round pick by the New York Mets.

“It means everything,” Ramirez said. “It’s been my dream since I was a little kid and then going to the Mets was great, since my favorite team is the Mets. So, it’s a dream come true for me and it feels good, because I put in a lot of hard work over the years.”

Both players were undecided at press time about whether to turn pro or proceed with their college careers.

Uter and Ramirez were key parts of Pace’s revival of fortune on the baseball diamond this spring, helping lead a Knights squad that had not been to the postseason in nine years to the Class A private school quarterfinals.

Uter was 5-3 with a 1.98 earned run average and 57 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched on the mound and was also a key member of the Pace football team as a wide receiver.

He was named among the nation’s top 500 players in the Class of 2014 by Perfect Game. He was a Perfect Game USA preseason All-American high honorable mention selection this year and was a first team All-Region 5A choice the last two years.

“Kameron is an incredible high school player who has all of the intangibles to be a Major League Baseball pitcher,” Pace coach Matt Hall said. “He is long, has great velocity and movement on his fastball and can throw two other plus pitches for strikes. Kameron has been our starting pitcher for four years as well as starting at first base when he is not on the mound.

“You really could not ask for a better young man. He’s a leader, a tireless worker and his teammates respect him tremendously. Kameron is obviously a great football player, too, so he has some great options to choose from.”

Ramirez also enjoyed a successful senior season at Pace, batting .411 with three home runs, nine doubles and was perfect on the base paths with 16 stolen bases in 16 attempts.

He was a 2013 Perfect Game preseason All-American and was also an All-Region 5A selection the last two years.

“Raphael is a tremendous player with true Major League Baseball speed,” Hall said. “He was our starting center fielder for four years as well as batting lead off for us. Raphael has a very smooth swing from the left side of the plate and can hit for both average and power – he led the team for the past two years in home runs. Raph is a very good defensive player with a plus arm and has speed to track balls down in the gaps.

“More than any other skill, however, Raphael is a true student of the game. He understands the small changes he needs to make with his swing from at-bat to at-bat and has a true desire to be great.”

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