Methuen's Dom Keegan drafted by Tampa Bay Rays

·3 min read

Jul. 18—Methuen's Dom Keegan is officially ready to begin his professional baseball journey.

Keegan, a former Central Catholic and Vanderbilt star, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth round (No. 134 overall) of the 2022 MLB Draft. The pick has an expected slot value of over $430,000 and Keegan indicated that he plans on signing with the club.

"I'm super happy," Keegan said after being picked. "Looking back on my career and everything that's happened, seeing it all pay off and to go to such a great organization I'm just super happy and proud."

The selection caps off an impressive rise for Keegan, who went undrafted out of high school and was a 19th round selection by the New York Yankees last year. That relatively low pick was due in large part to Keegan having previously expressed his intention to return to Vanderbilt, and he is now coming off a terrific fourth season of college baseball in which he successfully transitioned from first base to his natural position of catcher.

This past spring Keegan was a First-Team All-SEC selection after batting .371 with an 1.104 OPS, 14 home runs and 67 RBI for the Commodores. Before that he hit 15 home runs as a junior and led Vanderbilt to within one game of the program's second College World Series championship in three years.

Following the season Keegan also put on a show at the MLB Draft Combine in San Diego, where he went 9 for 9 on hard-hit balls and finished first in average exit velocity (106 mph) during his batting practice session.

During the combine Keegan said he had a chance to meet with representatives of the Rays. At this point he hasn't been told what the club's plans are for him and whether they view him as a catcher or a first baseman, but he expects to learn more in the coming days and is excited to get started.

In the meantime, he wanted to express his gratitude to everyone in the Merrimack Valley area who helped his professional dream come true.

"I'm thankful for all the people in this area, like Steve Lomasney and Dave Bettencourt, that have gotten me to where I've gotten today," Keegan said. "I wouldn't be here without them, and all the people at Drive Custom Fit in Salem, N.H., where I work out, and a lot of people have gotten me to where I am, and of course my family. I'm so thankful for the people that I have around me that have gotten me to where I am today."

Before emerging as one of the nation's top college hitters, Keegan was a four-year starter at Central Catholic who batted .402 for his career. He led the Raiders to four straight Merrimack Valley Conference titles, including a Super 8 tournament appearance as a senior, and was a three-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star. He was also named Eagle-Tribune MVP as a senior and was selected to the Eagle-Tribune's All-21st Century Baseball Team during the summer of 2020.