A Coral Shores slugger who’s spent the past four years in starring roles has inked his national letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Santa Fe College in Gainesville.
Dillon Walters, slugging shortstop and pitcher, fielded several offers before accepting a scholarship with the Saints. There was some speculation that Walters could be selected in the Major League Baseball draft scheduled for June 10, but he and his family have indicated they are fully committed to his next step, college.
“I am very excited to continue my academic and baseball career at Santa Fe College, as this program has a history of winning and I plan to help continue that tradition,” Walters said. “I want to thank all the coaches I’ve had over the years; each has played a role in helping me fulfill this dream. I also want to say a special ‘thank you’ to my parents who have supported me every step of the way. They have literally traveled with me across the United States.”
Over the past few years, Walters has achieved many baseball dreams he had, traveling with competitive teams from Southern California and throughout Florida. He represented the South Florida region at USA Baseball and became a finalist for the NTIS Olympic team.
He was invited by the USA to play in the Dominican Republic with former and current MLB players. He accepted that offer and represented the USA in games last summer. His teammates and he also volunteered for community service while in the Dominican.
“Dillon is a very hard working young man and Santa Fe College is getting one of the best kids I have ever coached both on and off the baseball field,” said head coach Fabian Placencia.
“I have had the pleasure to coach and watch Dillon evolve into a respectful young man over the last 10 years. From his first home run in Cooperstown to signing on with his No.1-targeted school in Santa Fe College, I am not surprised,” said associate head coach Brian “Tideo” Tiedemann.
Walters played in Perfect Game’s Top Prospect games in which his performance ranked him a 9 out of 10 grade. He then was invited to the elite PG World Showcase in January 2020 where only 90 elite players in the world attended. Walters was graded as a “top 10 MLB draft pick and the highest level college prospect.” Walters has been followed by the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Several Florida colleges tracked Walters in the past few years, but his dream had always been to play for Santa Fe College. It was during a JUCO (junior college) tournament in December 2019 when Sante Fa head baseball coach Johnny Wiggs invited him for an official visit in January. Soon after that, Dillon received an athletic scholarship, committed and signed to play baseball at Santa Fe College and pursue a business degree.
“We had followed Dillon closely and really liked him, but had been told he was committed to Palm Beach Atlantic University,” Wiggs said. “I got a call from a Santa Fe baseball alumni, Josh Corr, who played his high school ball at Coral Shores and a couple of his former teammates are coaching there now. He said that Dillon was still opened to coming to Santa Fe. We offered him and he accepted. We’re excited about his prospects and how he can help us here.”
Walters was born and raised in the Florida Keys. He loved all sports growing up, but his passion was always baseball with fishing being a close second. He has three older siblings, Michaela, Rachel and Sean, all of whom graduated from Coral Shores and the University of Florida.
“I have been fortunate to be a part of Dillon’s baseball career as a father, coach and now a member of a very large family of baseball players, parents and coaches,” said Mike Walters, Dillons father. “It excited me greatly to know Santa Fe is gaining not only a wonderful young man but a great utility player that pitches as well. I look forward to Dillon’s success both on the diamond and in college as he begins his new endeavor.”