Congratulations to Amir Garrett, selected in the 22nd round of the Major League baseball draft by the Cincinnati Reds; Garrett was the 685th player selected in the MLB amateur draft.
Amir Garrett is sensationally athletic on the hardwood and is just tapping into his hoops potential. Clocked in the low-90s by radar guns and brimming with talent, Garrett has a tough decision to make between baseball and basketball, one that affects the look of the Red Storm's recruiting class and the scholarship situation for Steve Lavin's Red Storm, along with Garrett's future.
More on Garrett's decisions, after the jump.
There was early talk that Garrett had heavy interest from the Seattle Mariners and the Boston Red Sox, even though he was picked in the middle of the draft by the Reds. The questions about Garrett's baseball priorities likely bumped him down a notch, as did his lack of recent pitching experience. Garrett got back on the radar with pitching performances for scouts at the College of Southern Nevada under the watchful eye of Nick Aiello, their pitching coach. Aiello points out that Garrett is physically unique, gets a lot of leverage in his pitches, and is primed with potential.
There are conflicting reports about whether Garrett is considering playing baseball exclusively or sticking with hoops. And that's likely because Amir Garrett hasn't made up his mind. And also because he hasn't spoken with anyone about what the offer on the table from the Reds will be.
As it is, being picked in the 22nd round doesn't bode well for a high bonus number from the Cincinnati Reds.
That doesn't mean Garrett will turn his back on baseball forever, or even while he's at St. John's. He could obviously play baseball for the Red Storm baseball team, but his twitter responses seem to indicate that he's not interested in that.
He could negotiate and see if the Reds are willing to pay him way over slot to convince him to stick exclusively with mound work in the Reds' minor league system. Garrett has until August 15th to negotiate a contract, or return to amateur status.
Garrett could also simply negotiate enough bonus money that it's worth his while to work short season leagues in the Reds' minor league system. The short season leagues run from June through September - time that cuts into basketball practices and the beginning of the Red Storm season, but Steve Lavin has been supportive. The conflicts could be worked out.
(update According to Zagsblog, Amir Garrett will (at least try to) play two sports - college basketball and baseball.)
Any way you pitch it, Amir Garrett's in a great, enviable position. Though we hope to see him on campus with the rest of the recruiting class.