BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - For Biloxi star Colt Keith, the first name called in the 5th round of this year’s MLB Draft was his, catching even him a little off guard.
“It was kind of a surprise for Detroit to call there at the end. It was stressful," Keith said. "I was thinking I would have to go to Arizona State and prove myself for three years. Detroit called last second, offered my number, and we ended up taking it.”
While the contract isn’t quite official, Keith said he and the Tigers are on the same page.
“Right now we’re taking their word," he said. "I haven’t signed the contract yet, I still have to go to Detroit and take physicals and stuff, but if they put on paper what they offered, I’m going to sign it.”
After not hearing his name called on night one, the nerves kicked in - until his phone rang.
“Last night I got about thirty minutes of sleep. I kept my [phone] ringer on just in case," Keith said. "My phone went off, and I checked it, and since then I couldn’t sleep. Up until I got drafted, it was nerves and emotions running all over the place. It was one of the most stressful nights of my life.”
Given the Tigers' philosophy surrounding player development, being the only high school player taken by the franchise is quite the praise.
“What they want right now is big-league talent. The Tigers aren’t really wanting to develop players for a long time, they need the talent in the big leagues now," he said. "Them picking me shows me that they believe I can make it to the big leagues faster than any other high school player.”
Whenever his career at the next level begins, he knows it'll be time to work.
“There are thousands, maybe millions of kids, who would kill to be in the position that I’m in. I’m not going to take it for granted," he said. "I’m going to go out there and work my butt off, and work my way up.”