|Dan Fiorito '12 Signs Pro Contract with the New York Yankees|
PURCHASE, N.Y. – After a record-breaking three years with the Manhattanville baseball team, shortstop Dan Fiorito (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep) '12 will take his game to the next level after signing a professional contract with the New York Yankees on August 21, 2012.
He becomes only the second player in program history to sign a professional contract, joining former Valiant great Bob Lasbury '93, who was drafted in the 14th round of the 1993 MLB Entry Draft.
In an interview on Thursday evening, Fiorito said that the Yankees contacted him not much more than two weeks ago and asked him to attend a workout at historic Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. "It was awesome," Fiorito said. "They said if I made it past my first workout at Yankee Stadium that I would attend another workout at the Staten Island ballpark [home of the New York-Penn League's Staten Island Yankees]."
His workout at Yankee Stadium impressed Yankee scouts enough that they made him skip the Staten Island portion of the workout and sent him straight to Tampa to work out at the Yankees' spring training complex. After a morning workout on Tuesday, he was called into the office where he was offered a contract on the spot. After signing his deal, Fiorito was sent right back out to the field where he continued his workout with little time to reflect as to what had just happened.
When he broke for lunch, the first person he called to inform him of the news was his father. After telling his family and close friends, Fiorito then called head coach Jeff Caulfield and former pitching coach Mike Seminara to tell them the news.
"Obviously we're really excited for Danny," said Caulfield. "I'm not sure what took so long but he really deserved it. Especially for him growing up as a Yankee fan, it makes it that much better for him."
Over the course of the next few hours, Fiorito began calling all of his former Valiant teammates to inform them of the bittersweet news that, despite his initial plans, he would not be coming back to Manhattanville in the spring as a graduate student.
"It was hard to walk away, but it was ever harder to turn down," Fiorito said. "Especially since it was the Yankees."
All of his teammates were accepting of the fact and thrilled for their teammate. "All of my teammates were congratulating me for signing with the Yankees," he recalled. "I thought that I might be letting them down [by signing a pro deal], but they assured me that wasn't the case. It's always been my dream to play professional baseball."
"I had discussed with the other coaches that I felt he was not coming back," Caulfield added. "I was sure some team at some point would pick him up before our season started. But Danny's a professional player and deserves to be playing professionally."
Fiorito said he will return to New York sometime this weekend as he will be taking graduate classes at Manhattanville this fall. After a few months up north, where he will continue to work out on his own, he will return to Tampa to take part in spring training sometime in January or February where his level of play will be assessed and he will be assigned to a team within the Yankees minor league system. When he reports in early 2013, Fiorito will take the field as a shortstop after much speculation that he may be playing third base or even returning to the mound as a pitcher.
The signing completes a whirlwind year for the Yonkers native. In the spring, he was named the Freedom Conference Player of the Year and an ABCA third-team All-American to top off four different All-Region honors. After going undrafted in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft, Fiorito returned to the Syracuse Salt Cats of the New York Collegiate Baseball League for the second straight summer and continued his torrid year with a .328 batting average with seven doubles and seven home runs. Fiorito led the team in both RBI with 29 as well as walks with 28. He also had 19 stolen bases to lead the team of players from all over the country who play for Division I, II and III schools as well as several junior college players.
While at Syracuse, Fiorito was named to the All-Star team after a quick start to his summer season, and while at Niagara Falls for the All-Star break he also took part in the home run derby. At the conclusion of the season, Fiorito was named to the NYCBL All-League First Team.
While the signing officially concludes his tenure with the baseball team after just three seasons, Fiorito still will leave with his name all over the Manhattanville career record books. He finishes his career third all-time at the school in home runs (21) and fourth in slugging percentage (.648), while also placing sixth in runs scored (116) and total bases (258), seventh in batting average (.397) and runs batted in (108), and 10th in hits (158) and on-base percentage (.474).