On the clock

Seigler heads to MLB studios for draft; Warner awaits possible 'win-win'

Posted

The phrase "win-win situation" is thrown around a lot, but it's truly the only way to describe the opportunity high school baseball players have to either go to college or turn pro after being selected in the MLB draft.

At least one — and quite possibly another — Cartersville baseball player will face that exact situation in the coming days.

Anthony Seigler will be as close to the action as possible when the draft clock starts ticking at 7 p.m. Monday on MLB Network. The standout catcher accepted an invitation to be on hand at the network's studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, during the first night of the draft.

"It's a huge honor," Seigler said. "Being able to get the invite to that, I was extremely happy and blessed. I'm just glad God put me in this position to where I'm able to receive an invitation to that and hopefully get my name called in the first round."

At this point, there's no way of knowing when Seigler will be selected. Recent mock drafts have tended to project him roughly between picks 22-33. That would put him right near the end of the first round or possibly into the supplemental first-round selections.

Seigler, though, said he hasn't paid much attention to the projections. He knows it's all just conjecture.

"I block it out, because you never know what's going to happen," he said. "It's really cool to have your name on all these mock drafts, but really nobody knows until draft day. I really don't listen to them."

His high school coach, Kyle Tucker also didn't want to speculate about when his star player would be chosen. Although, he clearly doesn't expect Seigler to wait around too long.

"I expect to hear his name called sooner than later," Tucker said. "As far as what pick or what round, that's really anybody's guess. At this point, everything is projections. A lot of that depends on what teams early in the draft do. It might dictate what a team in the late first round might do."

Seigler admitted where he lands in the draft order will be the biggest factor in whether he decides to sign or play collegiately at Florida. He knows he will have two great opportunities in front of him.

The hope is that his Cartersville teammate has them too.

Devin Warner isn't guaranteed to get drafted, but the Canes shortstop for the past four seasons has a really good chance. If he does get selected, Warner will be faced with the choice to go pro or attend Auburn.

"I want to get drafted, but there's a lot of things that come into play," he said. "I'm just giving it to God and whatever happens is supposed to happen, but, yes, I would love to be drafted and play professional baseball."

Warner said he's been trying not to focus on the draft as it gets closer and closer. But he sees it as possibly adding another great option to his future plans.

"I'm trying to keep myself busy, that way I don't think about it too much," Warner said. "About a month ago, I put it in my mind that whatever happens, it's a win-win situation."

Tucker said he hopes Warner gets the chance to at least weigh those options. Regardless, Tucker knows a chance for his shortstop to play in the SEC would be an amazing opportunity.

"To hear a professional team call your name, whether it's first round or 41st round, it's got to be a heck of a feeling," Tucker said. "I'm hopeful that's going to happen for him.

"At the same time, if financially it's not the right time to go for him, then you go to Auburn and you get an education and play at the highest level of college baseball.  Who knows, in three years, maybe they're talking about him being a surefire first-round pick."

But, for now, it's Seigler who's almost certain to get drafted in the first round — or at least on the first night. Each player said they're excited — "tremendously excited" in the case of Seigler — to see what happens with the other.

"I'm super pumped about it," Warner said of Seigler getting drafted. "I don't really look at him as one of my teammates. He's like a brother to me. We've been working out for a long time. All the work I've seen him put in is finally paying off, so I'm super pumped for him going into the draft."

The point has been reached where there's nothing Seigler can really do to improve his draft stock. Given what he managed to do during a truly remarkable senior season, there was really nothing more he could have done.

"I mean honestly I felt like I did," Seigler said of showcasing his ability during the spring. "I feel like I did everything I needed to do and showed what I needed to show this past season. I don't regret anything. I don't wish I could go back and do something over, except I wish we would have won that state championship game, obviously. But that's really it."

Tucker agreed.

"There's nothing he could have done [to improve his stock]," he said. "He just had a phenomenal senior season. He did everything you want someone of that caliber to do. He was a great leader for the team with not only the way he played the game but also the way he encouraged his teammates. What he did in the state tournament over 12 games was phenomenal.

"He's a guy they'll tell stories about in Cartersville for a long time, and they should."