By Nic Maksud
Taft High School alumnus Ernie Day was drafted in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft by the Seattle Mariners in June. Day, 21, graduated from Taft in 2020. He is a right-handed pitcher who now joins big-name players like Jack Suwinksi of the Pittsburgh Pirates to be taken in the MLB Draft after attending Taft.
While Day has a lot of experience playing collegiate baseball after playing at both Iowa Western Community College and, most recently, Campbell University, he still gives a lot of credit to Taft and his coaches in helping his early development.
“It’s been great especially with my Head Coach Richard Pildes,” Day said. “He was a big help and then starting my career early in varsity and playing against older kids and getting in there, whether its pitching or hitting. I think just playing against older competition at a young age was very beneficial to me and other kids. I think Taft has been a tremendous help when it comes to fall ball or spring ball and just being around our head coach was a big help to me.”
On the third and final day of the MLB Draft, Day’s childhood dreams were turned into a reality.
When Day was asked about his reaction to getting drafted he noted, “It’s every kids dream to hear their name called at draft day. I thank God and everything for that. It was exciting and realizing that you’re getting drafted and going to start your professional career is something that I’ve always wanted. It was probably one of the best days of my life.”
Now he looks to his future with the Mariners organization, as he made his debut with the team’s Arizona Complex League (ACL) team Monday, Aug. 7, striking out the first two professional hitters he faced. He was a starter for the majority of his career until the Camels made him a reliever for the majority of the season this spring. Because of that, he is open to being developed as whatever type of pitcher they may want him to be.
“Right now I am not too sure what they plan as developing me,” Day said. “My whole life I have been a starter and then this past season I was in the bullpen, which both ways work fine with me. Right now what they are planning on doing, I am not too sure, but whichever direction they go, I am going to be ready.”