When it comes to a professional sports draft, it is always better late than never. For Villanova's Mike Francisco, a lefthanded reliever, being selected by the Brewers yesterday was a great moment -- even if it came in the 48th round.
Francisco was drafted for the second time in his career. Last summer the Phillies picked him in the 44th round of the major league draft, but the money on the table at that pick wasn't enough to keep him from completing his Marketing degree.
Though he didn't sign with the Phillies last year, the Newtown Square native considers it an honor that he was drafted once by his hometown club. "At least I'll always be able to say my hometown team drafted me once, even if it wasn't in the year when I signed," he noted.
Francisco's fastball has velocity in the 88-92 range, and as a senior he recorded nine saves and a 3.60 ERA out of the Wildcats' bullpen this season. His 2011 save total was the second-highest in program history for a single-season, while his 20 career saves set the program record for a career.
He was the seventh player from Villanova to be selected twice in the MLB draft and the first Villanovan to be drafted by the Brewers. He expects to sign this summer in time to join a short-season affiliate.