On his pitching days, Trey Dombroski has had plenty of wins as a standout left-handed pitcher at Wall High School and, most recently, Monmouth University.
On Monday, he took a step closer to joining an organization that has won more than any American League team since 2017.
The Houston Astros selected Dombroski on Tuesday with their fourth-round pick, No. 133 overall, in the 2022 Major League Baseball Freshman Draft.
Dombroski is the second Shore Conference alumnus in as many years to be selected in the fourth round of the MLB draft, following the fourth-round selection of Shane Panzini by the Royals straight out of Red Bank Catholic High School in the 2021 draft.
After coming undrafted from Wall in 2019, Dombroski has improved his profile in three years at Monmouth University, particularly in the last two. As a sophomore in 2021, Dombroski went 5-2 with a 2.73 ERA with 55 hits, eight walks and 64 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings while earning All-MAAC honors. Last spring, Dombroski continued his breakout in 2021 going 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA, 80 hits allowed, 14 walks and a school-record 120 strikeouts. This production was enough to earn Dombroski All-American honors, as well as the MAAC pitcher of the year award.
In the summer of 2021, Dombroski shone in the Cape Cod Summer League and won the prestigious league’s Most Outstanding Pitcher award for the season.
Before dominating MAAC and shining in Cape Town, Dombroski put together one of the Shore Conference’s all-time pitching careers on Wall. The 6-foot-5 southpaw was a three-time All-Shore selection by Shore Sports Network and in his final two seasons in high school he was a slam dunk selection for Shore Sports Network Pitcher of the Year.
As a junior, Dombroski went 8-1 with a .54 ERA with just 29 hits and 10 walks allowed in 64 2/3 innings while striking out 71. He followed that up with an even better senior season, during of which Dombroski went 11-1 with a 0.37 ERA with 39 hits and five microscopic walks allowed while striking out 126.
Dombroski’s senior year included four wins in Wall’s run to the NJSIAA Group III Championship and his only loss of the year was a 1-0 loss at the hands of the CBA and current Vanderbilt right-hander Pat Reilly – a potential first-round pick in next year’s draft.
Assuming Dombroski and the Astros reach a deal (the estimated value of the 133rd pick slot is a $443,700 signing bonus), the Astros are banking on Dombroski to help piece together a minor league system that has been thinned by penalties stemming from the sign-stealing scandal that cost Houston first- and second-round picks in 2020 and 2021.
Despite losing first-round picks in each of the past two seasons, Houston has shown an aptitude for finding all kinds of talent, both in the draft and internationally. Current starting shortstop Jeremy Pena is an American League Rookie of the Year candidate. He was selected in the third round in 2018 and, like Dombroski, he comes from a small college in the northeast (University of Maine).
Since 2017, the Astros have won four American League West championships, reached the American League Championship Series in five consecutive seasons, and won two American League pennants. They capped off the 2017 season by winning the first World Series title in franchise history, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in a series that has come under scrutiny as part of the investigation into the theft of placards.
Dombroski was the first of two Monmouth left-handers drafted on Monday, with teammate Rob Hensey selected in the ninth round by the Cincinnati Reds.
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