Eight Bananas Selected in 2021 MLB Draft

Written by Biko Skalla:


The Savannah Bananas are excited to announce that one current and seven former players were selected in this year’s MLB Draft. Jason Ruffcorn (18′), Dustin Saenz (19′), Ashton Schultz (19′), Daniel Lloyd (19′), Cade Povich (20′), Logan Workman (20′), Josh Crouch (20′), and Tristan Peters (21′) have all been drafted.

Cade Povich was the first Banana selected this year, as the Minnesota Twins drafted him in the 3rd round with the 98th pick overall. Hailing from Bellevue, Nebraska, Cade started his college career with Bananas head coach Tyler Gillum at South Mountain Community College and then transferred to the University of Nebraska where he was a starter for two springs. Povich was dominant with the Bananas in 2020, throwing 7 times, with 6 starts, tossing 26.1 innings to the tune of a 2.05 ERA while striking out 23 and only walking 7.

In the 4th round the Washington Nationals took 2019 Banana, Dustin Saenz, a senior out of Texas A&M. Dustin is from Corpus Christi, Texas, and spent all four years in College Station. He was superb in the 2019 summer with the Nanners, in which he had a 1.16 ERA over 31 inning pitched, striking out 41 and only walking 9.

Tristan Peters was the next Banana selected, as the Milwaukee Brewers snagged the Canadian centerfielder in the 7th round. Tristan started his collegiate baseball career at Chandler Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Arizona, where he became and avid line dancer while he destroyed baseballs and won National Junior College Gold Glove for his work in centerfield. Tristan then took his talents to Southern Illinois University, where he continued to rake, hitting .355 with 55 RBI’s and 53 runs scored in 60 games played this past spring. He’s been a big part of the Bananas 26-4 start to this summer, playing a phenomenal centerfield while slashing .320/.465/.460, with 14 RBI’s, 13 runs, 16 walks and only 6 strikeouts in 17 games played. Tristan said it was a whirlwind of a day following the draft and then a truly special moment once he was selected.

“It was really surreal,” Tristan said. “The whole day I was on zoom with my advisor just waiting to see if anyone wanted me. Milwaukee gave me an offer, I thought about it for a couple seconds and then said yes and had to wait a full round to see if they decided to go with someone else or if I would actually be drafted by them. My dad found out from the draft tracker before they said my name and he started going crazy. I wanted to make sure I actually heard my name live before it was official, and once that happened we were all jumping around screaming. It was an incredible feeling and a moment I’ll never forget for sure.”

Tristan is awaiting instruction from the Brewers on when he will be reporting for duty, but for now he is making the best of his last few days in Savannah, and may even get to suit up in kilts tomorrow for the Nanners if he gets the okay from Milwaukee. He was the highest drafted Saluki since 2014.

A 2020 Banana, Logan Workman was the second Nanner taken in the 7th round, as he was selected just 14 picks after Peters by the Tampa Bay Rays. A Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, native, Logan has been terror on the mound the last two seasons for Lee University, as he only gave up 1 run in 42 innings last spring and followed it up with a 1.81 ERA in 79.2 innings with a spooky 110/27 strikeout to walk ratio this year. He was always more than happy to be mic’d up on the broadcast while on the mound in Savannah, something I’m hoping the Rays will utilize throughout his professional career.

After 14 more picks (kind of crazy huh), Jason Ruffcorn, a 2018 Banana, was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies. Jason grew up in Cedar Park, Texas, and spent two years at Texas A&M before transferring to the University of Oklahoma where he played three more seasons. He was a terrific pitcher each an every year, securing a sub 3.00 ERA in 4 out of 5 seasons. Jason was dynamite in Savannah too, throwing 26.2 innings with a 2.36 ERA and a 23/8 strikeout to walk ratio.

Then in the 10th round the Detroit Tigers took 2019 Banana, Austin Schultz. The Adams, Nebraska, native has had three stellar seasons as a middle infielder at the University of Kentucky, most recently hitting .329 this past spring while leading off all 52 games he played for the Wildcats. In Savannah he was a Green Light Special expert, stealing 14 bases in 15 attempts, while hitting .307 and scoring 29 runs in 29 games played.

Exactly one round later (30 picks), the Tigers went back to the proverbial Bananas well, taking 2020 Nanner, Josh Crouch. Hailing from Sebring, Florida, Josh spent two years at the State College of Florida before transferring to the University of Central Florida for two more. Josh was a powerful bat while catching for the Knights this spring, hitting .311 while clubbing 15 home runs in 58 games played.

In the 14th round the Baltimore Orioles probably made their best pick of the draft, snagging 2019 Banana, Daniel Lloyd. After growing up in Summerville, South Carolina, Daniel pitched three season for the University of South Carolina. He was a very dependable man for the Bananas both out of the pen and starting games, as he had a 3.34 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched.

Bananas assistant coach, Adam Morreau, said the coaching staff is incredibly happy for all the guys who were drafted and the team as a whole.

“When we look to construct a roster here in BananaLand, our goal is to get guys who are draft ready now or will be after their next season,” Morreau said. “Having 8 guys go is an awesome sign for us as a staff that we’re doing our job in bringing in the talent we’re looking for.”

The Bananas and the Lexington County Blowfish were tied with 8 draft picks apiece this year for most in the Coastal Plain League, as 50 total past and present CPL players were taken in total.

Adam said the overall draft numbers for the league make the team’s start to this summer all the more impressive.

“That many guys being drafted really speaks to how deep the CPL is with such high caliber talent coming from so many teams across the southern states. It’s really a great place to play baseball and seeing so many players from the league being selected shines an even brighter light on how bonkers our dominant season has been so far.” 

Keep your eyes peeled and locked into Bananas social media for any more current and/or former players who may now be signed as free agents by MLB teams. The Nanners currently are off to their best start in franchise history as they are 26-4 on the summer, with a playoff spot already clinched as they try to march towards their second ever CPL Championship.

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