Would you sign to play pro baseball for roughly $450,000 to $500,000 or play in college? G.W. Danville High School’s Blake Bivens has decided to take a job.
The senior pitcher was selected in the 4th round, 127th overall, of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday afternoon.
-------- To see ABC 13 Sports feature story on Bivens from Thursday June 5th CLICK HERE. ---------
When reached by cell phone, Bivens said he was getting a little antsy after not hearing his name called in the first three rounds. Bivens had told MLB teams that he would not sign if he was selected below a certain round and/or money line. Although that line was surpassed, Bivens and his advisor Mitch Rigsby negotiated a deal that still made Bivens comfortable enough to sign.
“I had been really firm on my money line but if there was a team to go under with, it would be Tampa Bay,” Bivens said.
Bivens choice to go pro means he’ll turn down a scholarship offer from Jim Toman and Liberty University. “If I ever wants to go to college, [the Rays] will pay for it (up to $120,000),” Bivens said.
While watching the draft on MLB.com in a conference room at the Danville airport, Bivens was surrounded by his mom, dad, sister, and girlfriend, among others. The Rays called Rigsby and then Rigsby called Bivens to report the exciting news. “My voice perked up a whole lot. I’m definitely happy,” Bivens said.
From here, he’ll travel to the Rays spring training facility in Port Charlotte, Florida sometime next week.
He’ll sign an official contract in the next few days.
Which team will Bivens first play for in the minor leagues? He doesn’t know yet. Typically, the players are informed of that information following the initial camp in Florida. There is a chance he’d be assigned to the Princeton (WV) Rays. If so, that team plays in the Appalachian League, the same league as Biven’s hometown Danville Braves. Princeton plays at Danville’s Dan Daniel Park (G.W.’s home field) August 3rd, 4th, and 5th.