PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Major League Baseball Draft wrapped up on Wednesday and several local players heard their names called.
That group included Division II Philadelphia University left-handed pitcher Abraham Almonte who was selected in the 26th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“It’s just a dream come true,” Almonte tells KYW Newsradio. “No words can describe what I’m feeling right now.”
Almonte pitched in 12 games for the Rams in 2017, making eight starts. He went 3-3 with a save and four complete games. His ERA was 2.40 and in 56.1 innings he struck out an impressive 71 batters while walking just 18.
“I think the biggest reason for my success were the coaches around me and my teammates around me,” Almonte says. “I wouldn’t be in the situation I am today if it wasn’t for the people that I’ve surrounded myself with.”
Getting drafted is even more satisfying for Almonte because of what he had to overcome to get here. Back in May of 2015 he underwent Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.
“Before I had the surgery,” he says. “I was having one of the best years of my career and I was really at an all-time high. Once I tore my ligament in my elbow, it really brought me from a very high to an extreme low. Dealing with all of that wasn’t easy, but like I said before, I put a lot of faith with God and my parents and everyone that surrounds me. They really helped guide me to become the person I am today.”
Almonte talks about the skill set he brings to the mound.
“I throw a four-seam fastball which people think is a two-seamer, slider and a change-up,” he says. “I think what makes me successful is everything I do leading up to when I’m on the mound – my preparation, whether it is in the weight room, how I eat, how I train and also the mentality that I have. The people around me, my teammates, when I’m on the mound, my teammates are backing me 100%. They’re really on it and I feed off the energy and they definitely gave me energy throughout the year. I’d say I’m more of an attacker than anything, come at you and just stay within myself and do the best I can.”