University of Delaware #1 baseball prospect hoping to get drafted by Phillies again

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Three years after getting drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 28th round out of Saint Mark's High School in Wilmington, Delaware, Billy Sullivan is throwing his name back in the draft.

The number one prospect in the state of Delaware is hoping to hear his name called before the fifth round of the MLB Draft ends on Thursday.

"It would be a dream come true," Sullivan tells 6abc sportscaster Jeff Skversky about possibly being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies again.

"Growing up being a Philly sports fan, a die-hard Phillies fan, would be a dream come true," he said.

Sullivan chose not to sign with the Phillies in 2017, instead choosing to play college baseball at the University of Delaware to improve his stock.

Sullivan's dream was thrown a curveball.

When he needed Tommy John surgery last year as a sophomore, he made only two starts before missing the rest of the season.

Now nearly 15 months later, Tthe Blue Hens starter says his elbow is close to 100% healthy.

But since there's no baseball season, MLB scouts have to rely on his bullpen sessions and video from his freshman season.

"It's frustrating but it's motivated me to work harder, to get faster and stronger. It's motivating me more than anything," Sullivan says of the challenges he has faced recently.

In 2018, he led the University of Delaware in strikeouts as well as wins.

Sullivan went 7-3 with a 2.97 ERA and was a two-time conference rookie of the week and two-time conference pitcher of the week.

Sullivan has been posting his bullpen sessions on his Twitter page as well as sending to teams to get their attention.

Sullivan likely has a tough decision to make.

Since MLB cut the draft down from 40 rounds to five.

If he goes undrafted he can still sign a free agent deal with any team but for only $20,000, which is pennies compared to what a six-rounder signed for last year, which was more than $200,000.

"The decision is not going to be easy. I went through this in high school, whether to go pro with the Phillies or go to college. It's nothing new to me, but it's definitely gonna be a tough decision," Sullivan says.

The New Castle native could always stay in school and improve his stock-- a decision he will make with his family and advisor if needed.

With a fastball that tops 98 mph, he's confident he can crack it in the majors one day.

"Ever since I was a little kid, that's been a dream of mine. I've put a lot of hard work into the game. That would be a dream come true. I think I have the ability to get there one day and help a ball club win a World Series one day so I will do whatever it takes to get there," said Sullivan.

Sullivan has talked to roughly 10 teams, including the Phillies, again, this past weekend.

He's keeping his fingers crossed.
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