ORONO, Maine — Steve Perakslis and Jake Marks on Wednesday joined the ranks of University of Maine players selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Perakslis, a junior right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the 21st round (644th overall) by the Chicago Cubs. Marks, another right-handed pitcher who signed a National Letter of Intent to play at UMaine, was a 28th-round choice (No. 860 overall) of the New York Mets.
That brings to four the number of Black Bear right-handers to be taken in this year’s draft. They join junior Jeff Gibbs, who was picked in the ninth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and NLI signee Dayton Dawe, who went to the New York Yankees in the 15th round.
UMaine coach Steve Trimper has experienced both pride and some anxious moments as he waits to find out what the players decide to do.
“It’s nice getting guys drafted,” Trimper said. “You just want to make sure they make the right decision. You don’t want them to sign for next to nothing.”
Perakslis, of Abington, Mass., went 5-5 with a 3.81 ERA this spring. He allowed 109 hits and struck out 48 in 87⅓ innings. Opponents batted .318 against him.
Gibbs, who has had the highest profile of the 2012 Black Bears, signed a contract with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, according to Trimper, who did not know any of the specifics.
Gibbs could not be reached for comment.
Dawe, who is the No. 3 prospect and the second-ranked pitcher coming out of Canada this year according to Baseball Canada, is on the fence.
Trimper said Dawe originally had not planned to go pro, but may reconsider his options in spite of having a maximum $100,000 signing bonus offered to players drafted after the 10th round.
“A high school kid can get offered $100,000, but you take out 35 percent for taxes and the money you would have to pay for your school and the money doesn’t go very far,” Trimper added.
He explained Perakslis is doing some initial negotiating with the Cubs to determine whether their offer is worth him forgoing his senior year.
Marks was a bit of a surprise in the draft, although Trimper is confident he is planning to attend UMaine in the fall. Marks reportedly had been called somewhere around the 11th round but indicated he would not sign and then was picked in Round 28.
Trimper said UMaine’s America East title and NCAA Regional appearance in 2011 helped the Bears attract several high-caliber players, led by Dawe and Marks.
“We had a good year and people started recognizing the program and wanted to come here,” Trimper said.
Of the 13 players who have committed to UMaine for 2012, 10 are pitchers. The list also includes Logan Fullmer from Pennsylvania and Charlie Butler from Massachusetts along with Burk FitzPatrick, Alexandre Gagne and Nick DeFrank.
“We’re really excited about our pitching group that’s coming in,” Trimper said. “They’re going to be young, but they’re a very quality class, maybe the best recruiting class that we’ve ever gotten, in terms of talent and depth.”
Fransoso named NEIBA star
UMaine shortstop Mike Fransoso recently was named to the University Division second team of the 2012 New England Interscholastic Baseball Association All-Star Team.
The junior from Portsmouth, N.H., batted .327 with five home runs and 26 runs batted in. He led the Bears in homers, runs scored (59), hits (73), doubles (18) and stolen bases (19). He logged a .950 fielding percentage in 298 chances.
Fransoso was the only UMaine player selected, while University of Southern Maine outfielder David Ricker was named to the College Division squad.
The all-star game, pitting the university team against the college ballclub, was rained out June 4 and will be played at 7 p.m. Monday at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, Mass.