St. Augustine's hitters belt O.C. in showdown
Ocean City's Kolya Stephenson delivers a pitch against St. Augustine Prep.

Exactly 1,529 names had been called in the Major League Baseball amateur draft as the end of the 50th round approached Wednesday.

With the very last pick, 1,530th overall, the Philadelphia Phillies selected Ocean City High School senior Kolya Stephenson.

"It's unreal," Stephenson said in a phone interview Wednesday night. "Just amazing."

Latest Video

Stephenson was a pitcher for Ocean City, earning three varsity letters. He had a 6-1 record during his junior year and went 5-4 this season.

He was hanging out with friends after school Wednesday when he heard the surprising news.

"I was actually swimming in my pool and my mom came running out with the phone and said I got drafted," Stephenson said. "I was like, 'Wait, what?' Then I got on the phone and it was (Phillies assistant director of scouting) Rob Holiday. He said congratulations, and I was just thrilled."

Stephenson said the first person he called was his father, Dan, who is the Phillies' manager of video production. The elder Stephenson did not know about his son being drafted until after it was announced.

"I talked to him right after I heard the news," Kolya Stephenson said. "He was so proud of me. It was a great moment."

Ocean City coach Craig Mensinger said an assistant coach texted him to break the news, and he was thrilled.

"I thought it was great," Mensinger said. "I knew a Phillies scout came and looked at him before one game. They were pleased with his mechanics, composure and poise."

Stephenson, who has committed to attend Alvernia University in Reading, Pa., in the fall, did not say whether he plans to sign with the Phillies or go to college.

Mensinger said Stephenson is also a well-rounded hitter. He hit six home runs and more than 40 RBIs over the past two seasons.

"I often told him he was putting all his marbles in one basket with being a pitcher, because he's an unbelievable hitter," Mensinger said. "He hits the ball out of the park, can drive it to all fields and is a natural hitter. But pitching is what he loves to do."

That passion has helped Stephenson develop into one of the area's best pitchers, Mensinger said.

"When he's on, he's very, very good," Mensinger said. "He pounds the strike zone, and when his curveball is working, he's very dominating."

Stephenson said he loves the feeling of being on the mound.

"I love to pitch," Stephenson said. "It's the best part of the game. I love being in control."

Stephenson was recognized on as the 13th recipient of the "Don't Count Him Out" award, given to the last player selected in the draft. reporter Spencer Fordin contacted him for an article on the website.

"That's amazing that they wrote that," Stephenson said. "I went to the (website's draft) tracker, and it said I was the last person picked, and I thought, 'Man, this is awesome. My name's right there.' It's an awesome feeling."

Stephenson said he probably will go out with his parents later in the week to celebrate, but Wednesday night he was trying to let the news settle in.

"What a day," Stephenson said.

Contact Jeff Sporer:


Love High School sports? Get the latest scores, game highlights and analysis delivered to your inbox each week!

Recommended for you

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.