Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

June 10, 2013

St. Anthony's Hecht drafted by Mets

During the St. Louis Pirates travel team game Saturday, Ben Hecht came out of the batter's box, stepped up to the plate, and laced a double off the top of the right field wall. While missing a home run just barely was a bit of a disappointment, Hecht had more than the double to smile about. Before the at-bat, Hecht was informed by his father that he had been drafted by the New York Mets. "I was actually in the on-deck circle at Granite City for another game, and my dad said "New York Mets" and held up a three and a one," Hecht said.The St. Anthony standout and last year's Class 1A player of the year was taken in the 31st round by the Mets Saturday afternoon. New York had been scouting Hecht, along with the Texas Rangers, the Kansas City Royals, the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets caught Hecht at his finest earlier this season, when the senior tossed a no-hitter against Neoga on May 1, as Hecht struck out 17 Indians in the process.While that probably wasn't the only thing that caught New York's eye, it certainly didn't hurt. "They caught me on a good day, I was fortunate enough," he said of his May 1 feat. Now, it's decision time for Hecht, who has the offer from the Mets, but is also committed to play baseball at Illinois State University next season. If Hecht attends ISU, he will not be draft eligible again until following his junior year. Going to college could improve his draft stock in 2016, but the offer could give him time to be groomed by professional coaches in the Mets system. It won't be an easy one, and he has until July 12 to make the decision. "There's going to be a lot of thinking involved," Hecht said. "Getting to professional baseball is the dream of every kid, and going there out of high school.. It probably won't be for the next two or three days. Hecht was one of four Effingham area players to be drafted over the three-day draft, and the only high schooler out of the bunch. While his life could change a lot over the next week, the news didn't change his approach Saturday."It was a pretty standard day, just playing baseball," he said.He went 3-for-3 with two doubles, and could go from travel ball to the minors — if he so chooses.

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