Scooter Bynum drafted in 18th round by Cincinnati Reds
Then they called back five minutes later.
“They told me they were going to draft me in the 18th round,” Bynum told me.
The Reds made it official moments later when they selected the 18-year-old centerfield from Monroe Catholic on the third day of the Major League Baseball Draft.
“It’s an honor, man,” he said. “It’s exciting.”
Bynum is only the second non-pitcher from Alaska to be drafted in the top 20, joining Anchorage third baseman Trajan Langdon, a sixth-round pick in 1994.
The reigning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year said he turned down the contract offer by the Reds and will instead attend Arizona Western College this fall.
“I’m going to school,” he said. “It was real hard to turn down, but I need to work for the future. I’ll just try to get better and see where I go next year.”
Bynum plans to play this summer for the Fairbanks Goldpanners of the Alaska Baseball League.
Tony Wylie, of Anchorage, is a part of the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau and has experience with players in the draft. He believes the Reds will come back with a better offer.
“I think there will probably be some follow up discussions within the organization,” Wylie told me. “I don’t know what their offer was, but no matter what they offer it has to include his education or he shouldn’t even consider it.”
Regardless what Bynum does in the next year, Wylie sees the 6-foot-1, left-handed hitter has the tools to be a professional.
“I would think if he goes down to Western Arizona and performs and improves like I believe he will, in about 364 days from now we should see his name again,” Wylie said.
Notable Major League Baseball draft picks from Alaska
2000 Brian Montalbo Pitcher Anchorage 4 Atlanta Braves
2009 Matt Way Pitcher Sitka 5 Philadelphia Phillies
2012 Dylan Baker Pitcher Juneau 5 Cleveland Indians
1994 Trajan Langdon InfielderAnchorage 6 San Diego Padres
2001 Chad Bentz Pitcher Juneau 7 Montreal Expos
1990 Marshall Boze Pitcher Soldotna 12 Milwaukee Brewers
2001 Chris Mabeus Pitcher Soldotna 13 Oakland Athletics
2008 Chris Aure Pitcher North Pole 15 Pittsburgh Pirates
2014 Scooter Bynum Outfielder Fairbanks 18 Cincinnati Reds
2006 Corey Madden Pitcher Anchorage 21 Florida Marlins
**Boze, Bentz and Mabeus are only 3 Alaskans to play MLB