Patten, Rotondo Selected on Final Day of MLB Draft


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Cole Patten (above) was drafted 507th overall to the Detroit Tigers.

Aphrodite Dimopoulos, Staff Writer

After a solid 2022 season, Villanova baseball has made a splash in the Major League Baseball Draft. On Tuesday, the final day of the 2022 draft, seniors Cole Patten and Chris Rotondo received phone calls from the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively. Patten was selected in the 17th round with the 507th overall pick, while Rotondo went in the 19th with the 577th selection. Although their time at Villanova is over, the two players now begin the next step in their careers. 

Patten’s career as a Wildcat, while shorter than most, has been nothing short of exceptional. Transferring from Seton Hall before the 2022 season, Patten only pitched 14 games in a Villanova uniform, yet flourished with his fellow Wildcats. Prior to coming to Villanova, Patten pitched three seasons for the Pirates, accumulating a 4.85 ERA and averaging 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings. 

As a Wildcat, Patten started in 13 of his 14 appearances in the 2022 season, leading the team with a 3.98 ERA, 1.30 WHIP through 86 innings pitched, and 77 strikeouts. The starting pitcher also held opposing batters to a .250 average against him. Among other accolades, Patten was selected to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll three times throughout the year, finishing his Villanova career with a 3-7 record overall, 2-3 in league action. 

Patten’s selection by the Detroit Tigers made him the 72nd Wildcat to be selected in the MLB draft since it began in 1965, and the third consecutive Villanova pitcher to be selected since the 2021 season. 

A few hours after Patten’s phone rang, senior Chris Rotondo received a call of his own. Rotondo was drafted by the Cardinals, reuniting him with former teammate Gordon Graceffo, who was selected in 2021.

Since starting his Villanova journey five years ago, Rotondo has made himself known as one of the all-around best players in the program. Starting in 165 of his 177 games, the star center fielder closed his collegiate career as a .292 career hitter, fielding at a .978 clip. Rotondo made the All-Big East First Team and the ABCA/Rawlings East All-Region Section Team selections this past season. 

Rotondo’s collegiate career has earned him multiple spots in the ‘Nova record books, tying for ninth-most home runs and eighth-most total bases and intentional walks in a single season. Throughout his career, he moved up the rankings into a tie for the most triples, 10th for doubles and walks and 12th for runs, home runs, total bases, and hit by pitches.

Patten and Rotondo mark the fifth and sixth picks in head coach Kevin Mulvey’s six-year tenure.