11th-round pick in MLB draft, Dana accepts record deal with Angels

Still waiting to hear his name, Caden Dana spoke to the Los Angeles Angels after Day 2 of the MLB Draft.

On Monday night, the American League club floated the idea of ​​not only signing right-hander Don Bosco Prep on the third and final day, but also taking on his older brother, Casey.

Young Dana did not tell his brother about the conversation, leaving it to fate.

It turned out that the angels followed the script. They took Caden in the 11th round and added his brother, an outfielder who played last season at UConn, in the 16th.

Call it a match made in heaven.

“As soon as I heard them talking about my brother and making him money too, that’s when I freaked out. I have to take that. I’m so glad I can play in the same organization as my brother ,” Caden told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday night.

On Friday, the Angels and the Dana Brothers agreed to deals. They are scheduled to fly to Arizona on Saturday and sign on Sunday at the team’s facility in Tempe.

According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, Caden agreed to a deal worth $1,497,500. That’s a record for an 11th-round pick, the highest after the 10th round in the pool era — with $1,372,500 in cash against the Angels’ bonus pool.

The Kentucky commit was selected No. 329 overall after entering the draft ranked as the No. 119 prospect by MLB.com.

“To be honest, it was just a great opportunity in my direction and I knew it was the right move once I heard my brother’s name as well,” Caden said via text Friday night. “So excited to start with this incredible organization and help this team win many more World Series.”

Mike Rooney coached both brothers at Don Bosco Prep.

“It’s amazing,” Rooney told NJ Advance Media earlier in the week. “How many kids are lying in their bedroom that they share with their brother when they’re younger talking about playing professional baseball, and then they put the icing on the cake and say something like, ‘That wouldn’t be not cool if we’re you on the same team? And now you think that’s a possibility for these guys, and that’s fantastic. They so deserve not only the opportunity, but also the truly unique opportunity available to them. I’m just incredibly proud to be associated with them.

An All-State selection, Caden Dana helped Don Bosco Prep win the Non-Public A title and finish No. 1 in the State Rankings. He was the 10th player to be drafted directly from DBP, the last being Tommy Burns. The right-hander was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 34th round of the 2012 draft.

Dana said the journey from getting his name out to the draft was “the smoothest ride ever.”

“A few ups and downs here and there, but I thank Bosco for giving me everything I needed,” he said ahead of the draft. “It all started with trying to get my name out there, getting recruited by certain schools. Once I had a path with Kentucky, I knew there was more I needed to improve. I I lowered my head and took one step at a time.

Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year, Dana brings a physical presence to the mound at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. He went 5-1 with 70 strikeouts and a 1.33 ERA in 47 1/3 innings. Dana recovered the stoppage in the State Championship against St. Augustine, striking out three and allowing one hit in three innings. He whipped up a season-high 11 batters three times.

Also a graduate of Don Bosco Prep, Casey Dana began his college career at Seton Hall. He hit .364 in the team’s first 14 games before the pandemic canceled the 2020 season. Dana played one more season for the Pirates before transferring to UConn, where he hit .313 with 12 homers led the team last spring en route to first-team All-Big East honors.

“Nothing is guaranteed, but I hope a team will give me a good opportunity to show my talents at the next level. That’s all I want at the moment; hoping for something good to happen” , Caden Dana said ahead of the draft, “The best outcome would be me and my brother getting phone calls that day. I just want the best outcome for both of us.

On Friday, it became a done thing.

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Kevin Minnick covers South Jersey baseball. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @kminnicksports

Neal T. Doss