July 3, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - Former Florida Atlantic University baseball player Mike Albaladejo will realize his dream of playing professional baseball after signing a free agent contract with the Washington Nationals organization.
Albaladejo played a key role in the Owls capturing two Sun Belt Conference (SBC) regular-season championships in his four collegiate seasons. He now becomes the fifth player of the 2012 championship team to play professional baseball.
"I am so happy that Mike has an opportunity to realize his dream of playing professional baseball," said John McCormack, FAU's head baseball coach. "He was a pleasure to be around and coach for four years. He was a great player and an even better person. I wish him all the luck in the world as he gets ready to start a new chapter in his life."
The Winter Garden native earned first-team All-SBC honors this spring at second base after ranking among the league leaders with a .358 batting average, 76 hits and 43 runs scored. He had spent his first three seasons at FAU as a catcher.
"I kept faith and prayed that this day would come," said Albaladejo. "I'm thankful for Coach McCormack and all of the coaches for working hard in getting me this opportunity. I'm ready to prove myself once again at a higher level of baseball."
Albaladejo was named to the SBC's all-tournament team for three seasons.
For his career, Albaladejo started 183 of 201 college games and compiled a .305 batting average. He also had 205 hits and scored 128 runs.
Albaladejo joins former FAU teammates R.J. Alvarez (3rd round by Los Angeles Angels), Kyle Newton (19th round by Colorado Rockies) and Ryan Garton (34th round by Tampa Bay Rays) and Alex Hudak (free agent by Kansas City Royals) in advancing to play professional baseball. FAU signees Brandon Welch, Robbie Whalen and Alex Lavandero also were drafted in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
Florida Atlantic had a 32-22 record this spring -- the program's 14th straight winning season. This year's SBC regular-season championship was the team's second in the past three years.
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