Today is Christmas for all amateur baseball players around the country. I remember in 2004 leaving the NCAA Kinston regional after going two and out against UNC Wilmington we headed back to Knoxville on Sunday night. Monday morning was the draft. I hung out with Patrick Hicklen at Chili’s waiting on a call from area scouts to see when we were getting drafted. On that day the Oakland A’s selected me in the 13th round, pick number 397.
During BP today I talked to many of my teammates asking them what they remembered about their draft day.
Pitching coach AJ Sager was 23 playing golf when he got a call from the San Diego Padres. Five days later he joined the Spokane Indians.
Brendan Wise was at the dentist with his high school coach. His father called him and asked why he wasn’t drafted yet, and as he hung up the phone the Tigers called through.
Josh Rainwater was playing MVP baseball on Xbox at home in Louisiana. He had a draft party with friends and family and was selected in the 4th round.
Casey Fien had a party as well, but didn’t get the result he wanted. His friends stuck around through the first 15 rounds, but then scattered after that. He was eventually drafted in the 20th round. Although he wasn’t drafted where he would have liked to be, he made it to the big leagues and has done extremely well in the minors.
Larry Parrish, our manager, remembers having an area scout from Louisiana in a three-piece suit come to his house and push the idea of the Montreal Expos being a new franchise team with stern rules to their team. His father told him to go ahead and sign with them.
Best of luck to all my friends who are planning to get drafted. Get out there, sign, and start your playing clock. Your age is your biggest factor in this sport.