The boy who grew up as a Yankees fan may one day get to pitch in Yankee Stadium — as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Former Mattituck High School star Steve Ascher was drafted by the Rays in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
“It’s honestly a dream come true,” said the 20-year-old left-handed pitcher from Cutchogue, who was the 517th player taken.
Ascher was coming off a fine junior season at SUNY/Oneonta. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound hurler was recognized as the top pitcher in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. He had a 6-4 record with a 1.82 earned run average.
Ascher was assigned by the Rays to the Princeton (W. Va.) Rays in the Appalachian League. He helped the Rays reach the playoffs for the first time since 1998.
Meanwhile, his numbers with the Rays were good. In the regular season, he went 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 3 saves. Over 23 innings, he allowed 21 hits and 5 walks, with 24 strikeouts. Batters hit .241 against him.
Ascher said he enjoys the life of a professional player. “I love it,” he said during a phone interview from the hotel in Princeton where Rays players live. He described playing minor league baseball as “kind of like college without the schoolwork.”
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