By Anya Bochman
Photo: Anthony Veneziano
Hackettstown native and Warren Hills Regional High School graduate Anthony Veneziano was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 10th round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday, June 4, making the fourth-year junior at Coastal Carolina the 289th pick overall in the 2019 draft. The left-handed pitcher went 5-3 with 85 strikeouts in 78.0 innings in 21 games this past collegiate season.
Michael Quinto, who was Veneziano’s coach at Warren Hills for four years, said that he noticed his talents early on. Quinto watched Veneziano, who grew up in his neighborhood and is the same age as his daughter, hone his skills on the high school team.
“I believe Anthony always dreamed of being a major league player,” Quinto said. “As he increased his skills as a left-handed pitcher in high school, I think he, as well as us, could see that this dream was one that could be accomplished. Anthony not only was developing his physical skills, but also the mental capacity needed to play at the next level.”
In his career with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in 2019, Veneziano started 14 games and appeared in 21 contests. He struck out 85 batters in 78.0 innings and held the opponents to a .259 batting average on the season. Veneziano, who stands at 6’5” and weighs in at 205 pounds, proved to be one of the Chants’ best pitchers after returning to the starting rotation in mid-March.
As a sophomore, Veneziano was 7-1 with a 3.81 ERA and led Coastal Carolina with 61 strikeouts.
Veneziano, who is the first Chanticleer to be drafted in this year’s first-year player draft, has become the 31st Chant to be selected in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft in the program’s history.
At Warren Hills, Veneziano posted a 0.74 ERA as a senior with 64 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 47.1 innings. Veneziano also scored 1,014 points for his basketball team and led the Blue Streaks to an NJSIAA North 2 Group 3 sectional title.
While at Warren Hills, Veneziano was named to the LehighValleyLive.com All-Area baseball team and the first-team Skyland Conference Coaches All-Valley team as a junior, and was selected to play in the 2015 Garden State Underclassman Games for the “Northwest” team. He was on the “sophomores to watch list” for MSGVarsity.com in 2014.
Back home, the sentiment from Warren Hills staff is a mixture of excitement and pride.
“When I saw that he was drafted by Kansas City, I was excited that he was getting the opportunity to begin the next chapter in his life,” said Quinto. “He has worked hard and is well deserving of the opportunity. I was very proud of Anthony and look forward to following his career.”
Quinto went on to describe Veneziano as a team player who was always interested in the success of the team over his own. Veneziano was said to be supportive of his fellow teammates and always exhibited great leadership skills.
“We are very proud of his accomplishments and we know he will work hard to achieve in this next chapter,” said Christopher Kavcak, principal of Warren Hills Regional High School.
The official Twitter account for the Coastal Carolina Chants likewise added its support for the Hackettstown native with the tweet “Congrats to Anthony Veneziano!!!”