Mets draft two-time cancer survivor Eric Orze

June 12 (UPI) -- The New York Mets selected two-time cancer survivor Eric Orze in the fifth round of the 2020 MLB Draft.

Orze, 22, is a right-handed pitcher from the University of New Orleans. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound prospect was the No. 150 overall pick in Thursday's final round.


Orze missed most of the 2018 season and the entire 2019 season after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and melanoma. He posted a 2.75 ERA with a 3-0 record and had 29 strikeouts in 19.2 innings in 2020 before the campaign was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Elk Grove, Ill., native had just four college starts but has a fastball that can reach 95 mph. He also has a splitter and a slider. Baseball American named Orze as one of the Top 10 biggest sleepers in the 2020 MLB Draft.

"Cancer survivor ... This is a kid that will not quit," Mets vice president of international and amateur scouting Tommy Tanous told reporters. "He really won't. Our scouts fell in love with his split finger, to tell you the truth."

Orze also had a 5.18 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 55 walks in 15 games in 2017 at Northwest Florida State Junior College before he transferred to New Orleans.


The Mets began the draft with the selection of outfielder Pete Crow with the No. 19 overall pick in the first round. They then took right-handed pitcher J.T. Ginn at No. 52 overall. The Mets also drafted outfielder Isaiah Greene, shortstop Anthony Walkers and catcher Matthew Dyer.

The Houston Astros selected University of California San Diego shortstop Shay Whitcomb with the final pick of the draft.

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