Joe Hudak's going to have to do some extra recruiting this week, which isn't unusual. Many college coaches are trying to grab the last unsigned players they can these days.
But Hudak's got to do it with a player he's already got.
Winthrop signee Mikey O'Brien, a right-handed pitcher from Roanoke, Va., was drafted by the New York Yankees in the ninth round (290th overall pick) on Friday. Hudak already called O'Brien to congratulate him but also made plans to visit the O'Briens on Sunday to talk over the decision.
"I'm just going to talk to him a little bit about the pros and cons of going pro or waiting for three years," Hudak said. "And we already told him we'll support whatever decision he makes. Every player that ever plays has a goal to be drafted."
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O'Brien is one of four pitchers the Eagles signed for next year, part of a nine-man recruiting class. His prep career ended this week in the quarterfinals of the Virginia state baseball tournament.
A 5-foot-11 righty, O'Brien finished his regular season 7-0 with an 0.33 ERA. He struck out 87 of 154 batters faced, walking only six, and belted six homers and 30 RBIs.
"I was just watching the computer and saw my name pop up," O'Brien said. "It was pretty exciting."
Hudak expected O'Brien to get picked between the sixth and 10th rounds. O'Brien's coach at Hidden Valley (Va.) High School, Jason Taylor, said the same and that his prize pupil hadn't made up his mind yet on his future.
"He really wants to go to Winthrop," Taylor said. "It all depends on what kind of money they would throw out in front of him."
O'Brien confirmed he will weigh all his options before making a decision.
"It's a family decision," he said.
Hudak said since the Yankees have a pretty big purse to throw around, it may make O'Brien's decision more difficult. But Taylor said the Eagles may have one factor in their favor.
"Boston is his favorite team," Taylor said. "I don't know if he told the Yankees scout that or not."
"(The Red Sox were) the first team I was ever on in T-ball. The past couple of years, I haven't really had a favorite team," O'Brien corrected. "I more so watch particular players."
Another Winthrop recruit, right-hander Kenny Monteith from Denville, N.J., was picked in the 48th round by Cincinnati. Hudak spoke with Monteith and Monteith confirmed that he was planning to come to school. He is scheduled to be at orientation later this month.
Two other locals, Clemson left-hander Ryan Hinson and Coastal Carolina outfielder Tommy Baldridge, were also chosen. Hinson, a Rock Hill native, went in the 31st round to Pittsburgh. He has a year remaining at Clemson if he chooses to use it, which seems likely since he was a 28th-round selection out of high school and turned that down.
Baldridge, a Fort Mill native, was chosen by the Yankees in the 33rd round. A senior, Baldridge is part of the only South Carolina team alive in the NCAA tournament.