Three former Saints look back on their first year as pros

By Spencer Kaylor |

Since 1985, Flagler College has had 16 players drafted by major league teams.

In the 2012 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, three former Saints — Garrett Bush, Jonathon Arnold, and John Sgromolo — were drafted by the Angels, Brewers, and Dodgers respectively.

Arnold, a right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the 30th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. He pitched a combined 15 games (33 innings) between the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League, and the Brewers in the Arizona League.

He had 33 strikeouts to only 14 walks and a 3.27 ERA.

Arnold cited his transition from being a starter in college to a reliever in the pros as his biggest challenge thus far, saying, “In my four years at Flagler, I might have only relieved a whopping two or three games. So going from having a set routine to not knowing when or if I was going to throw on a particular day was a bit of a transition.”

When asked what the best part of the transition to the professional level was, Arnold said, “Honestly, the best part has just been being able to continue playing. I’m far too competitive, and baseball has always been my primary outlet for that. So it’s nice being able to say I actually do it professionally.”

During this off-season he has been serving as a volunteer assistant for the Flagler pitching staff.

Sgromolo was selected in the 37th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The left-handed first baseman had a great first season for the Dodgers in the Arizona League. In 27 games, he hit .310 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 17 RBIs.

Defensively, Sgromolo had a .994 fielding percentage with 154 put outs.

Sgromolo said the biggest challenge in his transition has been “having short term memory.”

“In college baseball, you have a few days usually to reflect on your performance in the previous game as well as prepare even more for your next game,” he said. “When in pro-ball, you play in less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the game you just played, so you really have to have a short term memory and move on.”

He said the best part of it all has been meeting so many different people from so many different places.

“It is such a diverse environment of highly talented players,” he said. “The relationships that I have been able to make I will always remember as well. I am also very blessed to be a part of such a historic organization like the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Bush, a right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the 24th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This, however, was not his first time being drafted.

In 2009, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 15th round from Stanton College Prep School, and again in 2011 in the 19th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers from Seminole State College.

In his first year in the minor leagues, Bush pitched for the Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League, and the Angels in the Arizona league.

Between both leagues, Bush pitched in 10 games, with a combined 10 strikeouts. In the Arizona League Bush, had a solid 3.0 ERA.

The only Flagler College Saint to make it all of the way to the major league level was infielder Chris Barnwell. A 2001 graduate, Barnwell appeared in 13 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2006 season.

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