If you beat cancer once, that’s an accomplishment, but if you do it twice, that’s a true testament to your mettle.
Well, for University of New Orleans pitcher Eric Orze, he did just that. As a result, in some way, the universe rewarded Orze’s mental fortitude when the New York Mets drafted him with the 150 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft Thursday night.
Orze made his return to the hill in 2020 and posted a 3-0 record with 2.75 ERA after missing part of the 2018 season and all of ’19 due to testicular cancer and skin cancer.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 curtailed the 2020 college baseball season. But it seems as if the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Orze did enough during his college baseball career to warrant the Mets calling his name on draft day.
In 2017, Orze registered a 4-4 record with a 5.18 ERA with three saves and 61 strikeouts in 15 games, 12 of which were starts, in 66.0 innings pitched with Northwest Florida State Junior College.
Orze appeared in 15 games in 2016, recording a 5-1 mark with a 4.71 ERA while whiffing 59 batters in 57.1 frames.
— Jerry Del Priore