On Monday, July 10, star outfielder Scott Bandura, currently enrolled in the Class of 2024, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round of the 2023 MLB Draft with the 210th overall pick. The following day, the Giants additionally selected outfielder Nadir Lewis, formerly a member of the Class of 2023, with the 600th overall pick.
“Getting selected was a great feeling,” Bandura wrote to the Daily Princetonian. “It’s been a goal of mine as long as I can remember and seeing it all come together was special.”
Bandura was home with his family in Philadelphia, Pa. when he got the call about being drafted. He joins a group of 51 other Princeton Tigers who have previously been selected in the MLB draft, only seven of whom were taken earlier than Bandura.
“We are thrilled for Scott and excited that he will still wear Black and Orange,” head coach Scott Bradley told the ‘Prince’. “We are so proud of Scott and the person he is. He had to overcome a missed first-year because of COVID, as well as an injury last season.”
Despite these setbacks, Bandura currently holds the Princeton record for total bases, and his 46 all-time runs are tied for the second most in program history. Bandura credits a lot of his success to Bradley’s coaching.
“I owe a lot to the Princeton baseball program and Coach Bradley for being there to make this happen, especially through the many setbacks we’ve had over the last three years” said Bandura. “Coach Bradley has a long history in professional baseball and has been able to get a lot of his players into pro baseball over his tenure, which was a big contributor to me choosing Princeton.”
Like Bandura, Lewis also faced setbacks during his time at Princeton.
“Contrary to popular belief, the reason I didn’t have the opportunity to play this past season was not because of injury,” said Lewis. “I was asked to leave Princeton after this most recent fall semester. I’m glad even with those shortcomings my dream was still able to be achieved.”
Though Lewis did not play for Princeton this past season, he led the team in home runs, slugging, extra base hits, walks, and on-base percentage during his junior season in 2022.
“Getting drafted this year meant the world to me,” said Lewis. “I started playing baseball when I was six years old, and this has been a lifelong dream of mine. I’m happy to see all the hard work pay off.”
A class year below Lewis, Bandura only recently became eligible for the MLB Draft, as players enrolled in four-year colleges must have completed their junior year or be 21 years old by the date of the draft. The Giants will pay for Bandura’s final year of school, so the rising senior intends to be on campus during the off-season this fall in order to get closer to finishing his degree. He will leave campus in the spring to compete in the MLB season.
“It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling not being able to spend one more season with my teammates, but I look forward to watching what they do next year,” said Bandura.
During this past season for the Tigers, Bandura led the team in runs, triples, slugging percentage, stolen bases, total bases, and on-base percentage.
“He is a great all-around player who will continue to improve at the next level,” said Bradley. “The future is bright, and we look forward to the day we see him in the Big Leagues.”
The Princeton baseball team will certainly miss Bandura and Lewis as they move to San Francisco and join a Giants team currently ranked third in the NL West with a record of 49–41.
Nishka Bahl is a head editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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