Major League Futures Ahead for Four JSerra Alumni

2013 Alumnus Dane McFarland
2013 Alumnus Dane McFarland

JSerra Catholic High School has four alumni drafted into Major League Baseball, in the 2013 draft.

“Obviously a very exciting day for JSerra Catholic Athletics and the baseball program to see four Lions drafted in the MLB 2013 Player draft,” said JSerra Head Baseball Coach Brett Kay.

Recent graduate and 6-foot-4 outfielder, Dane McFarland was selected 360 overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving up his spot to play at Oregon in the fall.

McFarland has one of the most enticing power/speed combos among the prep outfielders in the Draft. With his huge frame he combines this with great bat speed to give him plus power.

Colton Plaia
Colton Plaia ’09

Colton Plaia ’09, was drafted for the second year in a row, this time by the New York Mets as the 446 pick overall from Loyola Marymount University. The catcher who leaves in less than 24 hours, since being drafted for training camp was said to have solid legs and is a durable receiver, with a tough presence and a plus-arm are his best tool.

Plaia was also selected to play for the U.S. National team in 2012.

Another draftee is right-handed pitcher Reed Reily ’10 of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was selected 549 overall to the Orioles.

Reily can touch the mid 90’s with his fastball and he has a good amount of deception to go along with it. He complements the heater with an 80-84 mph slider and a changeup he’ll throw in the low 80s as well.

JSerra’s final draftee is left handed pitcher, Cory Miller ’10 from Pepperdine University was selected as the 482 overall pick to the Brewers.

Miller, a three-year varsity letter winner and pitcher for head coach Brett Kay helped lead the Lions to the 2009 Trinity League championship. Miller also received two coaches awards and two of his team’s Cy Young Awards, set the school’s record for most saves in a season with four.

“All of them were outstanding young men while in our program and have the desire and work ethic to be able to have that great opportunity to get drafted. It will be great to see those guys don the uniform at the next level and know that they were Lions,” said Kay.

To see more on JSerra’s draft picks click here.

Nico Darras > The Average Student Athlete

*Contributed by Kevin C. Rice

At only seventeen, Nico Darras shows he is greater than the average student athlete accomplishing feats that others could only dream of.  Nico was one of 30 juniors and 70 seniors invited to the International High School Power Showcase at Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nico was the first Trinity League player to be invited to this exciting event, as he represented JSerra hitting six Major League home runs in the preliminary round and two more in the finals. He  tied for second overall in total home runs, and tied for third in the finals with a 460-foot bomb.

Darras up to bat

The home run derby-style showcase is not only a great way to display the amazing talents of these impressive teenage athletes, but to benefit the chronically ill. Nico, with help from the Make-A-wish Foundation and Home Runs That Help, sponsored his cousin/godchild, Vanessa Marie, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis at just seven years old. Now, at nine years old, Vanessa enjoys watching Nico play baseball, and loves when he hits home runs.

Nico is not only a stellar athlete, he maintains an outstanding 3.5 GPA in the classroom. He strives every day to better himself through his core life values: God, family, and baseball. Nico’s school pride and selfless attitude has helped create the “Lion Nation” student section that is present at every game. “Nico Darras is one of the finest young men I have been associated with,” said head coach Brett Kay.

Individual Athletic Honors

  • OC Varsity Top Sophomore to Watch – Orange County Register
  • Ryan Lemmon Orange County Sophomore Showcase
  • CIF All-American Honorable Mention
  • Scholar Athlete Award
  • Only Sophomore on Varsity with 11 D1 committed recruits
Ruth Finalists

To learn more about the partnership of Home Runs that Help and the Make-A-Wish foundation, click here.