VILLANOVA, Pa. - Second baseman Todd Czinege was chosen by the Colorado Rockies during the 29th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday afternoon. Czinege is the second Villanova player to be selected in this year’s draft, following left-handed pitcher Hunter Schryver who was a seventh round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays. Czinege was chosen with the 866th overall pick and is the 69th draft pick from the Wildcats all-time.
This is the first time since 2013 and the fifth time in the last 10 years that Villanova has had at least two players taken in the MLB Draft. Czinege is in elite company as the 15th infielder from the Wildcats to be selected in the draft. He started every single game that Villanova played (199 total) during his collegiate career and ranks among the best in school history in numerous batting categories. He was a three-time All-BIG EAST selection, including a pair of first team all-conference honors in 2015 and 2016.
Czinege hits well to all fields and showed increased power in each of his collegiate seasons. He does a good job of working the count and is a selective enough hitter to wait for his pitch. From a defensive standpoint, Czinege is solid up the middle and shows excellent range with good hands and an accurate throwing arm. He played second base almost exclusively in college but also has the athleticism to play on the left side of the infield.
In his 199 career games in a Wildcats uniform, Czinege batted .307 while raising to second in the Villanova record book with 244 career hits and 796 at-bats. He also is tied for fourth in school history with 10 career triples, ranks fifth with 343 total bases and is seventh in games played. Aside from his BIG EAST honors, Czinege was also a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2014 and earned All-Big 5 honors locally all four years. He is the first offensive player since the Big 5 began its postseason baseball awards in 2006 to earn a spot on the postseason team.
As a senior this season, Czinege batted a team-best .283 and also led the Wildcats with a .353 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage. He had a team-high 52 hits, three home runs and 25 runs batted in.
The Villanova program has had a total of 60 players drafted 69 times. Among current Wildcats playing professionally, outfielder Matt Szczur of the San Diego Padres is in his fourth season playing in the major leagues. Other current professionals are minor league pitchers Max Almonte (Cardinals), Woody Bryson (Yankees), Kyle McMyne (Reds) and Pat Young (Giants).