North Andover senior Sebastian Keane had his name called in the major league draft Wednesday when the Red Sox selected the 6-foot-3-inch righthanded pitcher in the 11th round (347th overall).
“We knew it was going to be one of the three days, depending on other teams plans and what they thought about him and how they valued him,” said Tom Keane, Sebastian’s father. “We thought there was a slight chance on the first day, a really good chance on the second day, and then when that didn’t happen, we knew it would happen today, we just weren’t sure what round.”
The North Andover ace said he “couldn’t stop smiling for two hours” after he learned he had been drafted by the Red Sox, no less on the same day he led the eighth-seeded Scarlett Knights to a 5-3 upset of top-seeded Franklin, the defending state champions, in the first round of the Super 8 tournament on Wednesday.
“This is the best day ever. I got drafted and won a Super 8 game,” Keane said. “These past few days, I’ve been so stressed out with the draft, seeing what was happening.
“Finally, I got the call today, and everything settled down for me. I felt great going into my start today, I knew we were going to win. I had a feeling.”
Although Tom Keane grew up in the Bronx, a Yankees fan, he was thrilled his son was drafted by the archrival Red Sox.
“Living up here for a long time, we really appreciate and respect the Red Sox organization,’’ said the elder Keane. “He’s been to Fenway a number of times, so we know a lot of the Red Sox personnel. I’m excited, I’m thrilled, even as a Yankees fan. We think it’s great.”
Last month, Keane became the first player in program history to be named Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year. The Merrimack Valley Conference MVP turned in his most recent dominant performance last Thursday, when he struck out 13 in a no-hitter, leading his team to a 1-0 win at Catholic Memorial.
The Northeastern commit finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and an 0.27 ERA, piling up 98 strikeouts over 51⅔ innings.
The Red Sox had plenty of looks at Keane on the high school prospect showcase circuit last summer. Ray Fagnant, the Red Sox scout in the Northeast, described Keane via text as a player with a high ceiling who has “good present stuff, but still tons of physical projection.”
Fagnant indicated the Red Sox were attracted to Keane in part because he “has fun on the mound, pitches with energy, and was never intimidated in any of the national events.”
Keane brought that same energy against Franklin, according to North Andover catcher Jack Morin.
“Every game, we just want to attack,’’ Morin said. “I think he did a very good job today mixing it up [against Franklin]. They’re a very good team, but I think he overpowered them.”
In the 34th round, the Red Sox drafted Bentley junior first baseman Ryan Berardino, a Lincoln-Sudbury Regional graduate. His grandfathers are former Sox right fielder Dwight Evans and Dick Berardino, who coached and managed in the team’s system from 1971-88 and has also worked as a consultant.
Vanderbilt lefthander Jackson Gillis of Wilmington was selected in the 13th round (403rd overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Norwood’s Sean Mellen, a junior lefthander at Northeastern, was also drafted Wednesday, taken in the 14th round (431st overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Former Belmont High lefty Nate Espelin, who prepped this past year at Winchenedon, went to the Yankees in the 35th round, No. 1,065 overall.
In the 39th round, the Yankees selected NU lefthanded-hitting first baseman Jake Farrell, a former three-sport stalwart at Xaverian who owns most wins for a quarterback in school history.
And circling back to Fagnant, his own son, Christian, a catcher/infielder from East Granby High in Connecticut, went to the Orioles in the 39th round, with the 1,158th pick.
Jake Levin contributed.