Friday, August 17, 2018

Draft journal: Plant’s Connor Scott happy to be part of a Florida team (even if it’s not college)

Connor Scott didn't have to wait long to find out where his professional baseball career would start. Scott was taken by the Miami Marlins with the 13th overall pick Monday night in the Major League Baseball draft.

He got the call from Marlins CEO and former Yankees great Derek Jeter while at home with family and a few teammates. Jeter was one of Scott's heroes while growing up.

"I was a shortstop in Little League and I would always try to be like Derek Jeter," Scott said during a Tuesday afternoon teleconference. "I was a big Derek Jeter fan. Jeter and (former Braves third baseman) Chipper Jones."

Scott was considered one of the top five high school outfielders in the country. A 6-foot-4, 185-pound left-hander who also pitched, he hit .526 with four home runs in 20 games. He missed time in the middle of the season with a hamstring strain and was restricted to designated hitter in the season's final weeks.

Many, including Scott, have compared him to former Marlin and current Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, who was a 2010 first-rounder and the last prep outfielder the Marlins took in the first round.

At the end of the high school season he had several workouts with major league teams. Leading up to the draft he said he didn't know what to expect, and admits to being a bit nervous.

"It's such a stressful night," Scott said. "When we found out it was the Marlins we were all relieved because that's the team we wanted to go to."

The approximate pick value for the 13th selection is $4 million. Scott said he is set to begin with the Marlins as soon as possible. He had a scholarship offer to Florida, but ultimately the dream of playing major-league baseball won out.

"My parents are very big on education," Scott said. "But I've put myself in this position to have an option to play professional baseball and I believe this is the right decision.

"Ultimately, I want to be part of the rebuild that brings a World Series back to Florida. And to be in Miami is huge because my parents can come see me play. It's a short drive from Tampa."

Addison Barger hit .354 with 22 RBIs, five doubles, four triples and two home runs as a King senior. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)

Another local shuns Gators

King shortstop Addison Barger has wanted to play professional baseball since he was 4 years old. He'll get his chance when he reports to the Blue Jays rookie camp in Dunedin in a few weeks.

Barger was selected by Toronto in the sixth round (176th overall) and said he will sign instead of accepting an offer from Florida.

"I've decided to take the offer," Barger said. "It was extremely stressful, especially when you hear it might be the third round. But this is something I've always wanted to do."

Barger played in 25 games as a senior. He hit .354 with 22 RBIs, five doubles, four triples and two home runs. He expects to stay at shortstop with the Blue Jays.

Barger played for a Blue Jays scout team in the fall in Jupiter, so he said being picked by Toronto was not a surprise.

Also taken on Day 2

Former Bishop McLaughlin pitcher Frank German was taken in the fourth round (127th overall) by the Yankees. German is the second Bishop McLaughlin pitcher taken in as many years. Nate Pearson was selected 28th overall in 2017 by the Blue Jays.

German spent three seasons at the University of North Florida and built himself into a draft pick. He was the Osprey's main starter as a junior this season. He started 14 games and was 8-3 with a 1.58 ERA. He was a first team A-SUN all-conference selection.


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Published: 08/16/18