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Steele Ready for 3rd MLB Draft Experience

Former Central pitcher Keaton Steele was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012 and the Royals in 2013.
(COLUMBIA, Mo.) With the biggest day of Keaton Steele's life closing in, the Central High School product found a getaway from the buzz surrounding what his future holds.

The golf course.

The Mizzou pitcher will hear his name called in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft this weekend for the third year in a row, but he's able to hit the links without feeling the nerves that come with the situation.

After getting drafted each of the last two seasons, he's prepared for what scouts and teams are going to throw at him.

"I have more of a plan now of what I need to do."

The Tampa Bay Rays selected Steele in the 29th round of the 2012 draft fresh off a JUCO World Series with Iowa Western that saw him hit the go-ahead home run and pick up the save in the championship game.

His favorite team growing up, the Kansas City Royals, picked him in the 40th round in 2013 after earning first team All-SEC honors leading Mizzou in wins, saves and home runs.

Steele knows the game MLB teams will play just to sign a player at a cheaper price.

"Guys are going to try to play that out saying I'm an older guy and I shouldn't cost as much. With that being said, I also have another year of one of the best conference's in baseball to pitch against. I think that speaks volumes in and of itself going out there and pretty much doing the same thing as what I did last year."

In his junior season with the Tigers, Steele finished fourth in the SEC in saves with nine. He moved back to the starting rotation for the final two weeks of the season and impressed with two complete games and working into the ninth inning in the finale.

"Guys that are in a relief role -- they don't know if they can be put in as a starter because they don't know how well their arm's going to hold up. A lot of guys were really excited that I was able to come out of the 'pen for those seven weekends and then finish up the last three starting and throwing either close or over 100 pitches and pitching into that ninth inning," Steele said.

Now after three years of college ball, Steele's shown big league club's his versatility. Now he can relax on the golf course and force them to make a move.

"I'm just sitting here waiting for a chance."

The second day of the MLB Draft begins Friday with round three starting at 1:00pm.
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