June 6, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame baseball team had one of its most successful draft classes ever as six current players were selected by Major League Baseball teams during the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. After having three players selected on the first day, three more were drafted Wednesday on the second and final day. The six players drafted is the most ever for the Irish, besting the five players drafted from the 1996 Notre Dame team.
Sophomore outfielder Brian Stavisky (Port Allegany, Pa.) was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 33rd round. Stavisky, who was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 12th round of the 1999 draft, was second on the Notre Dame squad with a .386 average in 2001. He led the team with 66 RBI and 10 home runs (including five in final seven games of the season). He finished the season by being named to the NCAA South Bend Regional All-Tournament team. The Irish rightfielder led the team with 31 walks and was second with 19 doubles.
Junior catcher Paul O’Toole (Lakewood, Ohio) was taken in the 48th round by the San Francisco Giants. The lefthanded-batting O’Toole hit .323 in 2001 with four home runs and 35 RBI. He scored 40 runs and stole 15 bases (on 24 attempts). He threw out 24 of 59 would-be base stealers (40.7%). O’Toole is one of 10 finalists for the 2001 Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. Cited by Baseball America as the BIG EAST Conference’s “best defensive catcher,” O’Toole was voted second-team all-conference.
Junior centerfielder Steve Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) rounded out the Irish selections when the Florida Marlins nabbed him in the 50th round. The lefthanded Stanley led Notre Dame this season in hitting as he became the first Irish player to hit .400 in a season since 1995. His 102 hits in 2001were the second-most in Irish history, trailing only Dan Peltier’s 115 in 1989. Stanley scored a team-best 76 runs and drove in 32. He stole 31 bases (in 39 attempts). Stanley was named to the NCAA all-South Bend Regional team in 2001 and was named a second team All-American by USA Today. He was the BIG EAST Conference’s co-player of the year.
Stavisky, O’Toole and Stanley join first-day Irish selections Aaron Heilman (1st round/18th pick), Danny Tamayo (10th) and Alec Porzel (13th). The 50-round draft, in which 1,485 players were selected, concluded Wednesday afternoon.