PALMER — Major League Baseball hosted the first-round of the 2020 amateur draft Wednesday and a former Mat-Su Miner was among the first four players picked.
Texas A&M standout Asa Lacey, who helped lead the Miners to the 2018 Alaska Baseball League title, was selected fourth overall by the Kansas City Royals.
“By the end of the summer he improved so much,” Miners general manager Pete Christopher said of Lacy.
Christopher said Lacy flourished while with Miners pitching coach Jeff Urlaub.
“He credits Jeff Urlaub for turning his career around,” Christopher said. “He learned how to throw a curve, a slider. Everything improved under Urlaub.”
Christopher said he is happy to see Lacy enjoy this type of success.
“He’s a hard worker. I’m definitely not surprised,” Christopher said.
Christopher said Lacy was also excellent in the community and a fan favorite during his summer with the team.
Lacy finished 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 2018, and led the Mines with 47 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. He walked only 10. Lacy also pitched seven shutout innings during the ABL Top of the World Series to lead the Miners to a 1-0 victory over the Anchorage Bucs.
Lacy is the second former Miner to be selected in the top four picks in the last seven MLB drafts. Former Mat-Su infielder Nick Senzel, a Tennessee standout, was taken second overall by the Cincinnati Reds in 2014. Senzel made his Major League debut in May of 2019.
Lacy also follows a line of Texas A&M pitchers who have played for the Miners before they were drafted. Jon Doxakis was taken by Tampa in the second round of the 2019 draft and Corbin Martin was drafted by Houston in the second round in 2015. The list also includes Kyle Simonds (14th round by Washington in 2015), Brigham Hill (fifth round by Washington in 2015) and Stephen Kolek (11th round by the LA Dodgers in 2016).
“The head coach at A&M likes us. Players always go back better than when they got here,” Christopher said.
Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at email@example.com.