Brett Phillips had been looking forward to draft day since he was a Little Leaguer. On Tuesday, his dream was finally realized when he was selected by the Houston Astros with the first pick in the sixth round (189th overall) of the MLB first-year player draft.
He joins Jesuit’s Lance McCullers and former Plant and Florida outfielder Preston Tucker as Tampa Bay players taken by the Astros.
"It’s such a relief,’’ Phillips said. "I can’t wait to sign and get my professional career started.’’
Phillips, an outfielder, said he will decline the scholarship offer from North Carolina State and sign with the Astros in the next few days. He also said there were teams willing to pick him in the fourth and fifth rounds, but they were unable to sign him for the amount the Astros offered.
As the 189th pick, Phillips is slotted to make $201,900 in bonus money.
"We had some negotiations with some other teams but we had to turn them down,’’ Phillips said. "The Astros had the best offer. They told me to wait and they would pick me in the sixth round.’’
In his senior season with Seminole, Phillips hit .354 with 18 RBI, eight doubles, four triples and two homers. He is mostly being drafted for his defense. This season, he was 67-for-67 in fielding attempts and had 17 assists. He threw out nine runners at third base or home plate.
Phillips was named the most valuable player for Pinellas at the Hillsborough vs. Pinellas Senior All Star game in Tropicana Field last week.
"I knew the Astros were one of the teams interested,’’ Phillips said. "They came to the house for a visit and they kept in touch. I’m just ready to start playing.’’