JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The wait ended for one big high school baseball star, while another announced that he's heading to college after the second day of the Major League Baseball draft.
Six other college players with ties to the First Coast also got the big league call on Tuesday, making it a local-packed afternoon.
The big news first: Providence infielder Tyler Callihan’s draft wait ended when he was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the 85th pick in the third round. The other big storyline among local high school prospects was Bolles ace Hunter Barco, who made it official that he'd be heading to the University of Florida after going undrafted through the first 10 rounds, a coup for the Gators and coach Kevin O'Sullivan.
The day was also dotted with numerous locals going.
Relief pitcher J.C. Flowers, a junior at Florida State and a Trinity Christian product, came in the fourth round to the Pittsburgh Pirates at pick No. 124 overall.
UNF had its first player in the draft taken in Round 7, pitcher Brad Deppermann. He went with pick No. 222 to the Cubs. JU’s first selection followed in the eighth round, third baseman Angel Camacho, who went to the Blue Jays at pick No. 237. Camacho also played at Creekside.
Georgia second baseman and former Charlton County star L.J. Talley was also picked, going in the seventh round at No. 207 to the Blue Jays. South Alabama pitcher Zach Greene, who played at Atlantic Coast, was an eighth-round pick by the Yankees (255th). Outfielder Todd Lott, a former star at First Coast and Trinity Christian, was a ninth-round pick of the Cardinals at No. 275.
Callihan’s selection is the highest draft pick in Providence history, surpassing the fourth-round spot (135th overall) by pitcher Walker Lockett in 2012.
“It was awesome, sitting there with my family when we got the ball,” Callihan said. “I’m very comfortable with the way it actually turned out. Definitely nerve-racking before the pick. Like we saw yesterday, it’s so unpredictable. I’m just excited for my future, whatever way it does pan out.”
Callihan has signed with South Carolina and said that he'll wait until the draft wraps up to think about what he'll do next.
The slot bonus for the No. 85 pick is $710,700, significantly less than the bonus where Callihan was projected to go (in the 20 to 35 range). But Callihan, as with most elite high school prospects, have significant leverage and can likely command well over slot value if they do sign.
The other big news from here to Gainesville involved Barco, a presumptive first-round selection, who went undrafted through the opening two days. That was somewhat of a surprise considering that Barco was a consensus top 50 prospect entering the draft, but it's not all that unheard of.
Highly rated players fall or go unselected in the draft all the time, with signability often the main issue for that. Seminole pitcher Matt Allan, also a Florida signee, was a consensus top 20 prospect who dropped to the Mets in the third round due to reported signability concerns.
Barco, a 6-5 lefthander, said on Twitter that he was looking forward to getting down to Gainesville and starting with the Gators. He'll likely have the chance to continue being a two-way player for Florida, pitching and hitting. His 2019 season at the plate for Bolles was the best of his career.
Flowers was a two-way player in both high school and with the Seminoles. Flowers is hitting .278 this season with 13 homers and 53 RBI, but has been a dominant closer. He has 11 saves and 22 Ks in 23.2 innings pitched and a 1.52 ERA. This is Flowers' second time being drafted. He was an 18th-round pick out of Trinity in 2016.
According to BaseballReference.com, Flowers' selection is the highest for a Trinity Christian alum. Pitcher Paul Rigdon was a sixth-round pick by the Cleveland Indians out of the University of Florida in 1996.
The slot bonus money for Flowers' draft spot is $460,000.
How does the bonus money work?
Every team is assigned a pool of money to use on their selections within the top 10 rounds, and each pick in rounds 1-10 is given a bonus value. That bonus value is not what players are guaranteed to get.
Players with the most leverage — high school seniors or college players with remaining eligibility — can negotiate over-slot bonuses, but that extra money has to come from somewhere else in that 10-round bonus pool. Some players in the draft will agree to sign for under-slot money giving the team more money to spend elsewhere. The bonus pool money only applies to players taken in the first 10 rounds.
Players with local ties selected in the MLB draft
Round (selection) Position Player Local tie Team
3. (85) IF Tyler Callihan, Providence, Reds
4. (124) P J.C. Flowers, FSU/Trinity Christian, Pirates
7. (207) 2B L.J. Talley, Georgia/Charlton County, Blue Jays
7. (222) P Brad Depperman, UNF, Cubs
8. (237) 3B Angel Camacho, JU/Creekside, Blue Jays
8. (255) P Zach Greene, South Alabama/Atlantic Coast, Yankees
9. (275) OF Todd Lott, La.-Lafayette/Trinity Christian, Cardinals