MLB DRAFT: Hello, Cleveland! Indians take Wallingford’s Hart in 10th round

MLB DRAFT: Hello, Cleveland! Indians take Wallingford’s Hart in 10th round

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WALLINGFORD — The Hart household in Wallingford was pandemonium on Tuesday night.

Zach Hart got a call just after 6:30 p.m. from his agent John Shinn that he was going to be drafted in the 10th round (300th overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Cleveland Indians.

Only a few minutes later, Hart saw his named scrolled across the television screen that, in fact, it was true.

In a flash, a lifetime dream was realized 

“It means everything to me,” Hart said just minutes after he was drafted. “It’s been a dream since I was young. It means everything to me and my family.

“My parents went nuts,” he added. “I was sitting with them when it happened.”

Hart’s parents, Patrick and Erin, have been by their son’s side throughout. Patrick coached his son at Yalesville Little League and beyond. Hart went on to Sheehan, helping the Titans win the Class M state championship in 2015. He and Brendan Rentas combined on a two-hit shutout of Montville in the final.

Retiring Sheehan coach Matt Altieri said he wasn’t surprised Hart was drafted.

“He had a really good year on the Cape,” Altieri said. “For me, at Sheehan, he had a good slider and he could command the strike zone. In college, he was throwing with some pretty good velocity, and that put him on the radar for the Draft.”

Hart is the only Titan to be drafted in Altieri’s 25-year tenure at Sheehan.

“Zach started as a sophomore at third base and pitcher,” Altieri said. “He had a good junior year and a big senior year, and he came up big in the state championship game.”

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound right-hander was a four-year player at Franklin Pierce in Rindge, N.H. He worked as a starter and out of the pen playing under coach Mike Chambers. The 22-year-old earned a degree in Sports and Recreation.

Hart also helped lead the Wareham Gatemen to the Cape Cod Baseball League championship last summer. Once his college career ended in May, Hart was in contact with Shinn about his professional prospects.

“I’ve been talking to my agent about the Draft and have just been preparing for it,” Hart said. “I had a good feeling I was going to get drafted because I talked to a decent number of teams. Overall, I had a feeling it was going to happen. It was just a matter of when. I’m extremely grateful.”

Hart grew up a New York Yankees fan. He changed his allegiances in a heartbeat.

“I’m an Indians fan now,” Hart said. “Up until 6:30 today, I was a Yankees fan. Go Indians.”

Details weren’t clear Tuesday night on Hart’s itinerary. He was getting ready to catch a flight Wednesday morning.

“I’m going to play my game and continue to work as hard as I can,” Hart said. “The goal is to make it through the minor leagues and do what I can and, with a little luck, I will end up where I want to be.”


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