Germantown Academy's Coyle drafted by Red Sox
Sean Coyle got the news like millions of others across the country. Parked in front of his computer, watching MLB.com's video coverage, he heard a voice bark out his name - with last name first, in time-honored tradition; followed by other specifics - as the Boston Red Sox' third-round pick (No. 110 overall) in the first-year player draft.
Sean Coyle got the news like millions of others across the country.
Parked in front of his computer, watching MLB.com's video coverage, he heard a voice bark out his name - with last name first, in time-honored tradition; followed by other specifics - as the Boston Red Sox' third-round pick (No. 110 overall) in the first-year player draft.
Next came goosebumps the size of pebbles.
Wow! It really happened!
"This was something I've been waiting for a long time," Coyle said, his emotion seeping through the phone. "I was hoping for this. But at the same time, I was sweating it out because you can never be sure what's going to happen."
Actually, he pretty much could.
Coyle, a 5-9, 175-pound shortstop about to graduate from Germantown Academy, sensed for a while that the Red Sox were mighty serious about trying to make him an employee.
Along the scouting trail, there are often large-group workouts and even smaller sessions for players sparking keen interest. It's not too common, however, for players to be scrutinized as individuals. Not only did the Bosox want to see Coyle work out alone, they made sure the stage was Fenway Park.
This happened last Wednesday. Among the highlights: He zipped 60 yards in 6.49 seconds and launched three balls over the Green Monster.
"It seemed like almost every scout in their organization was there," Coyle said. "Plus [general manager] Theo Epstein and a lot of other front-office people. I knew I could really help myself with a solid performance."
Coyle mentioned that the Twins, Orioles, Cubs, Indians and Yankees, in no special order, also had shown consistent interest this spring. He felt more of a bond with the Red Sox perhaps because the area scout, former Robert Lamberton High star Chris Calciano, has Philly roots.
Coyle drove to Boston with his mother, Toni. They arrived the night before his tryout and watched the Sox beat Oakland from seats about 30 rows behind the plate.
"That was such a great time," he said. "They came back to win. The fans did the wave for a long time. It went around the entire stadium six or seven times. Never saw anything like it. I was right there in it."
Along the way, Coyle has especially appreciated Boston's low-key approach with regard to his financial demands. Sean boasts a scholarship to North Carolina where his brother, Tommy, also a GA product, enjoyed a productive freshman season as an infielder.
"If you want to tell them a number, fine," Coyle said. "They leave that up to you. They did know that, say, sixth-round money wasn't going to get me to pass up North Carolina and the chance to play with my brother. Chris Calciano said he'll be over [today or tomorrow] to talk about trying to work out a contract."
Coyle awaited word yesterday at his Chalfont home with his mom, some close buddies and Penn assistant Jon Cross, who formerly coached at GA and helped steer the brothers there.
His dad, Tom, a former Penn player, had to work.
"Any chance he had, he was calling me," Sean said. "And he was on the computer, too. I was bustin' him a little about not being here for this, but today doesn't matter. He's been here for me my whole 18 years as my No. 1 fan and No. 1 coach. He has seen almost every game I've played."
Gosselin picked by Braves
For a while yesterday at the University of Virginia, the question was almost, "Phew, who's not going to get drafted?"
Junior second baseman Phil Gosselin, a product of Malvern Prep and the Atlanta Braves' fifth-round pick (No. 164 overall), said the early part of the process went like this:
"We were at our apartment and my roommate, Jarrett Parker, got drafted in the second round [by San Francisco]," Gosselin said. "Then, later, we were in the locker room, having a team meeting, and Atlanta's area scout called to say I'd just been picked. Then one of our pitchers [Robert Morey] got selected a few picks after that.
"It was really cool to be around everybody when all of this was happening."
Gosselin, a first-team All-ACC pick, is hacking at a .378 clip and his 94 hits give him a tie for the Cavaliers' one-season record. He also boasts nine homers, 57 RBI and a team-high 18 steals.
"As Atlanta's fourth-round pick was coming up, they said they were thinking about taking me there," Gosselin said. "They went with somebody else, but they took me in the fifth, so that felt pretty good. In talking to scouts along the way, I figured I was going to go somewhere from the fourth to sixth rounds. It worked out.
"It was always my dream to play pro ball. I saw Virginia as a place where I could make that happen. To be picked this high as a college player . . . I'm just really thankful."
On Saturday, Virginia will host a best-of-three Super Regional against Oklahoma. The winner advances to the College World Series. *