The wait was worth it.
South Carolina senior Kyle Martin was selected by Philadelphia with the 114th pick of the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday, completing a goal that he set a year ago. Martin turned down a 20th-round selection from the Angels last season in order to up his stock; after a career year, he improved 16 rounds.
The slot money for his spot in the draft is just under $500,000. Since Martin is a senior with nowhere else to go, he will probably receive a significantly less signing bonus.
Despite the difference in money and the Gamecocks’ sour season, though, Martin said he doesn’t regret anything.
“I’m glad I got the chance to put the uniform on one more time,” Martin told The State in April. “This year was all about having fun and just enjoying my last year.”
Martin majored in mechanical engineering and would have a fallback if baseball didn’t work out, but it appears he will get quite more than a puncher’s chance at playing professionally. The strongman slugger was named first-team all-SEC and a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball after hitting .350 with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs.
GAMECOCKS IN 2015 MLB DRAFT
(Name, position, school, round (number), MLB team)
Nick Neidert (signee), RHP, Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) HS, 2 (60), Mariners
Kyle Martin, 1B, South Carolina, 4 (114), Phillies
Jack Wynkoop, LHP, South Carolina, 6 (167), Rockies