All that work and everything comes down to the coming days. So much to study, so much to prepare for. Auburn Mountainview senior Justin Marsden has to feel at least a bit overwhelmed.
After all, it is finals week.
Not to mention the week of the MLB draft.
“We are all excited for it,” Marsden said of he and his family. “We all just want it to be here.”
The right-handed pitcher is hoping to be one of the high school players from around the state to get a call from a major league baseball club in the next three days. That’s the thrilling part.
Then the more pressing part: deciding whether to sign or head to college.
That decision is contingent on the contract. The slot value for this year’s No. 1 overall pick is about $8.7 million, according to Baseball America.
But here’s how it falls over the course of the next 285 picks:
• $1.43 million for the first pick of the second round.
• $403,000 for the first pick of the fifth round.
• $154,600 for the first pick of the 10th round.
There’s up to 40 rounds in the MLB draft.
As the slot values drop, the worse those professional contracts look compared to the opportunity to go to college.
Puyallup catcher Brendan Illies said he’s just going to treat the next three days as any other Monday-Wednesday of a school week.
Unless the University of North Carolina signee is drafted in either of the first two rounds (to be held at 4 p.m. Monday on the MLB Network), a team will call him at a time he’s likely to be in class.
Illies said the contract has to be right for him if he’s going to renege on his signing with UNC.
He could be drafted somewhere in the first 15 rounds, or even not at all. There’s little incentive to waste a draft pick if teams know Illies won’t sign after a particular round.
Glen Walker once coached current San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum at Liberty of Issaquah. Now he coaches Marsden at Auburn Mountainview.
Lincecum was drafted in the 42nd round after his sophomore year at the University of Washington, but told teams it would take $1 million to sign him. The Cleveland Indians offered $700,000.
Lincecum turned it down, was picked 10th overall in the next year’s draft by the Giants, got a $2.025 million signing bonus and has since won two Cy Young awards and three World Series rings.
Marsden hasn’t made such requests, but certainly his contract could change drastically depending on if he goes in the third round (like he had heard he might go earlier in the season), the 10th round or the 15th.
“It’s all hearsay. One guy says no earlier than the 15th round, you talk to another and they say he’s really high on San Francisco’s chart and Miami’s and blah blah blah and they’ll all say he should (be picked) early Tuesday,” Walker said.
“But who the hell knows? ”
Marsden said he’ll hold a draft party, but not until after he finds out if he’s picked.
Yelm right hander Parker McFadden is projected to be the highest drafted of the state’s high school players, thanks to a fastball that has been clocked at 97 mph. Shorewood left-hander Ian Oxnevad shouldn’t go much later.
The Oregon State signee has a fastball that has touched the low 90s.
“But the slider is wicked,” said Shorewood coach and former UW pitcher Wyatt Tonkin.
Eight of Tonkin’s former players have been drafted, including lefty Blake Snell. Snell was picked in the first competitive balance round of the 2011 draft by Tampa Bay and is currently at Double-A Montgomery.
Tonkin has told Oxnevad the same things the rest of his teachers have the past few weeks: study.
“I don’t try to tell them what to do, I just try to help them out and mostly tell them to sit down and talk with their parents,” said Tonkin, who was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 20th round of the 1976 draft. He played three years of minor league baseball.
“I told (Oxnevad), ‘Study a little bit. I imagine when your parents were trying to go into a field, they studied the field they were interested in. So study the field. Take a look at their systems. See how they move their pitchers. Do they move their pitcher around quickly? Do they have patience with them? Look that stuff up and see what you think.’ ”
Even when the draft concludes Wednesday, all these high school prospects will win — no matter if they become a professional or start packing for college.
“For Ian, it’s a bit overwhelming. A lot of attention goes their way,” Tonkin said. “But it’s also almost like a birthday and Christmas rolled into one because it’s something that you’ve aspired to do and worked hard to achieve.”
That and passing those finals, of course.