Center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday. The only Binghamton player of the 2014 class to be drafted, the 5’10”, 170-pounder was the 849th pick overall.
Bereszniewicz established himself as a versatile player for BU, shining both in the outfield – where he leapt and dove to complete innumerable outstanding putouts – and in the lineup. The four-year starter led both his team and the America East in multiple offensive categories, including hitting percentage (.367) and stolen bases (23). He also ranked nationally in triples (38th, with five), stolen bases (46th) and batting average (57th).
“[Bereszniewicz] is as good a defensive outfielder as we’ve ever had,” BU head coach Tim Sinicki said. “I think most importantly, he gave the pitchers a tremendous amount of confidence to let hitters take their swings. The way he controlled center field this year for us was really as good as anyone we’ve ever had in that position.”
Bereszniewicz was an especially crucial component in the two-time AE Champion team’s success in the past two seasons, but two back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances were only one facet of the first-team all-conference player’s success. Bereszniewicz accrued 208 hits, 122 runs, 74 RBIs and 42 stolen bases in his tenure at BU. He ranks sixth in the program’s all-time hit record and second in career stolen bases with those numbers, and his 77 hits as a senior set the school’s single-season record.
What also helped to bring Bereszniewicz under some scouts’ radars was his passion and dedication for his team and the sport. One of only four seniors on the team this season, Bereszniewicz provided the glue for the Bearcats’ unity and served as a fount of inspiration and energy for his teammates.
“Billy’s been a great leader this year for our young guys,” Sinicki said. “As a captain, he really just did a good job in the way he interacted with his teammates and made sure the guys stayed focused for what is really a long year.”
“He plays with a lot of passion, and his passion is very infectious,” Sinicki added. “It’s always nice to play with and behind a guy who looks like he’s enjoying the game, who looks like he wants to win, and that’s how Billy carried himself.”
Bereszniewicz is the ninth player to be drafted from Binghamton since 1990 and the third in the last three years, after both Mike Augliera and Lee Sosa were taken in the 2012 draft. He is the only player to join the Dodgers specifically.
“The one thing that Billy will do is, he’ll give himself every chance to move through the organization because of the way he works. He prepares very well, he won’t be outworked, and I just think all those things make for positive results down the stretch,” Sinicki said. “Whatever happens, happens, but it won’t be because he wasn’t prepared. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity – I can guarantee it.”