It’s been a busy month since four baseball players with local roots heard their names called in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
In that time, all four — Nick Gordon (Olympia), Austin Gomber (West Orange/Florida Atlantic), Auston Bousfield (West Orange/Ole Miss) and Shane Crouse (West Orange/Lake Sumter) have signed deals with the big league ballclubs that signed them and have begun their professional careers.
Gordon, who was taken No. 5 overall by the Minnesota Twin, inked a deal worth $3.85 million and is off to a hot start in the Twins’ minor league system.
Gordon is playing for Minnesota’s Appalachian Rookie League affiliate in Elizabethton, Tenn., and is hitting .359 through his first nine games with a pair of doubles, a pair of triples and a home run to his credit.
Gomber signed a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals for the slotted value for where he was selected of $374,100, per Baseball America’s John Manuel. The lefty pitcher has begun his career in State College, Pa., with the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League’s Class A Short Season.
Gomber has made two appearances so far for the Spikes and has a 2.25 ERA.
Crouse, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, was the first to ink a deal and is playing for the Reds’ affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. The former West Orange standout has made two appearances for the Reds so far.
Last to sign was Bousfield — and for good reason, as the former Warriors was quite busy until just recently.
Bousfield and his Ole Miss teammates just concluded a memorable run to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., that saw the Rebels advance all the way to the semifinals of the Division I Championship.
Per a report from MLB.com senior writer Jim Callis, Bousfield signed a deal with the San Diego Padres for $200,000. That report surfaced on Saturday and, as of the time of publication, it has not been announced where Bousfield will begin his journey through the Padres’ farm system.