Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lakewood Ranch's Larson drafted by Twins now has to decide

Zach Larson called it a long three days, seemingly longer than the dream he has been carrying since he was old enough to understand the game of baseball.

But everything ended well for the Lakewood Ranch outfielder today (Wednesday) when he was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 20th round (610th overall pick) of the Major League Baseball Draft.

“I am very excited. It has always been my dream to play major league baseball and the day is finally here,” Larson said. “I was hearing that I was going to be selected in the early round, but you never know in the draft. You never know who is interested. I wasn’t disappointed when my name wasn’t called earlier because I knew there were a lot of rounds left.”

Larson was a little surprised that he was chosen by the Twins though they called him early in the morning Wednesday and scout Billy Corrigan spoke to him at the FACA All-Star game last week in Sebring.

“The Rays, Phillies and Oakland showed the most interest. I didn’t talk to Minnesota a lot during the season,” Larson said. “Their scout (Corrigan) called after they picked me and I told him allright lets get my baseball career started. I like Billy and I like Minnesota. They are a great franchise and I am happy with them.”

Larson has signed with State College of Florida and says he is not sure which route he will take. He can play next season with SCF and put his name back in the draft next year.

“I’ve got to sit down and talk with my family,” the 18 year-old said.  “The Twins said they would call me in a few days and we will see. My family has been helping me out a lot on this. I don’t know (about the money). Whatever makes me or my family happy that is what we are going to do.”

The right handed hitting and throwing centerfielder led the state final four Mustangs in numerous categories over his 31 game season including: batting average (.426), on base pct (.516), RBIs (32), hits (43) and runs scored (41). He showed great range in the outfield and made only one error all season.

“We are excited. Zach has a huge upside and I thought he would be drafted earlier,” Lakewood Ranch head baseball coach Mike Mullen said. “With the draft you never know. A lot of it is whether a scout thinks they can sign a kid. I feel confident Zach is a top 10 round draft pick just based on his talent and upside. You look at this size (6-2, 185) and the size of his dad.
(watch Zach Larson take batting practice)

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