Lexington first baseman Chris Shaw was on his way up to practice this afternoon with the Nashua Knights with the newly-founded Futures Collegiate Baseball League, periodically refreshing the Twitter feed on his cell phone, when finally a tweet came across the screen that nearly floored him at 65 miles per hour.
"I laid on the horn and punched my sun roof -- I probably dented it," he chuckled. "I was going nuts."
Shaw found out from his phone's news feed that the New York Mets had taken him with their 26th round pick in the final day of the Major League Baseball Draft, and then a phone call from the organization several minutes later finalized it.
"I was pumped up, I was really excited," Shaw said. "Whether or not I sign, that's something in your entire life that you work for. You always strive to be a Major League baseball player, and just to even have that option now, it's a surreal feeling. It's awesome."
At the advice of their area scout Art Pontarelli, the Mets were one of several teams expressing interest in the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder, for his smooth, powerful stroke from the left side of the batter's box. Shaw was invited by Mets National Scouting Director Tommy Tanous to come down to Citi Field last week for a workout, but couldn't make it due to high school graduation.
But like the three other Massachusetts high schoolers taken today, Shaw's draft stock wasn't universally agreed upon. While everyone agreed he certainly had the talent to go in the first 10 rounds, new draft rules under the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement combined with his strong intention to honor his commitment to Boston College meant he would likely fall to day three -- if at all. At the beginning of the spring season, an American League scout projected Shaw as going in the first 15 rounds in a conversation with ESPNBoston.com.
Asked about his future, Shaw said, "I'm planning on honoring my commitment," saying the maximum of $100,000 allowed to offer players taken after the 10th round is "not enough to pass up" going to BC.
Shaw, a returning ESPN Boston All-State selection, turned in another decorated season for the Minutemen, hitting .480 with 7 home runs, 27 RBI, and going 5-0 on the mound with 95 strikeouts in 45 innings.