Early MLB talks for Carson

Shon Carson
Shon Carson The State

MYRTLE BEACH | The informal discussions have started between Lake City dual-sport standout Shon Carson and Major League Baseball teams.

Carson has committed to play football and baseball at South Carolina, but there is a chance that he’ll be drafted high enough in next summer’s MLB Draft to warrant turning pro and skipping college altogether.

The 5-foot-8, 190-pound dynamo, who is playing in Friday’s Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, has said that he’d like to attend college and get an education. However, it may ultimately make the most fiscal sense to turn pro in baseball straight out of high school.

Carson this week said he’s been told by MLB team officials that he’ll likely fall no farther than the fifth round. The average signing bonus for players taken in the fifth round of the 2010 draft was around $200,000, though teams often pay well over slot values – the recommended amounts given to signees at particular junctures of the draft – to lure them to turn pro instead of attending college.

For example, Arizona gave 14th-round pick Ty Linton a $1.25-million signing bonus after the 2010 draft. Also a dual-sport star, Linton was already practicing football at North Carolina when he signed and turned his back on that sport for good. Carson could be in a similar situation this June.

However, Carson said he’s only had preliminary draft discussions with his family and hasn’t yet established a signing bonus amount that would be enough for him to consider skipping school.

“Not yet,” Carson said with a smile when asked if he’s thinking about the draft. “I haven’t talked to my parents yet. I’ve just had a couple of meetings with some teams.”

Carson, who was named an MVP in the Shrine Bowl earlier this month, said the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox have held discussions with him so far. All have promised to pay for his college education at a later date if he turns pro out of high school, a standard protocol for major league teams.