Nick Gordon didn’t have to wait long to hear his named called Thursday night.
The recently graduated Olympia shortstop was taken fifth overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Gordon, who was one of just a handful of players in attendance at the Draft in Secaucus, New Jersey, was expected to be selected with one of the first few picks of the night. Of course, that doesn’t mean the son of Tom “Flash” Gordon didn’t look visibly excited when Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called the former Titans standout’s name and he donned a Twins jersey for the first time.
Gordon, whose brother Dee Gordon is an infielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is signed with Florida State to play collegiately but is expected to opt to sign a professional contract within the days to come with Minnesota. The MLB-recommended signing bonus for top five picks is $3.851 million.
The signing deadline for players selected in the First-Year Player Draft is July 18.
This year’s Draft, which spanned from Thursday through Saturday last week, was another proud occasion for West Orange coach Jesse Marlo as three former Warriors were drafted.
“It means we’re finally starting to get where I envisioned the program being when I got here — and that’s to be considered a national powerhouse one day,” Marlo said. “When you have three guys drafted, basically off the same graduating class, I think that means we’re on the road to getting where we want to be.”
The first two Warriors to come off the board each heard their name called on the Draft’s second day and remarkably close to one another. Former West Orange standouts Austin Gomber and Auston Bousfield were selected in the fourth and fifth rounds at No. 135 and No. 147 overall, respectively.
Gomber, a junior pitcher at Florida Atlantic University, was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals. Bousfield, a junior centerfielder at Ole Miss, was taken by the San Diego Padres.
Shane Crouse, a former Warrior who is a pitcher for Lake-Sumter, was taken on the Draft’s third day by the Cincinnati Reds in the 24th round with pick No. 725 overall.
A recently graduated West Orange player, Andrew Karp, did not hear his named called at the Draft — though that was likely by design. Karp, a standout for the Warriors for the past four years, is signed with Florida State and it has been widely speculated that
he would opt to attend college regardless of where he was drafted.
Marlo expects Gomber and Crouse to choose to sign with the Major League clubs that drafted them but says he has not had an opportunity to discuss with Bousfield who is a part of the Ole Miss team that just advanced to the College World Series.
While being drafted is an exciting time for a young ballplayer, the decision to sign a professional contract is one that comes with plenty of factors to consider.
“It’s more of a mental maturity thing at the end of the day,” Marlo said. “Some kids aren’t ready for that minor league life that they have to live for four or five years before they get to the big leagues where it’s staying in dumpy hotels and living with host families.”
Rounding out selections with local ties were The First Academy’s Foster Griffin, taken with the No. 28 pick overall in the first round by the Kansas City Royals, and UCF’s Eric Skoglund — also taken by the Royals with the No. 92 overall pick in the third round.