New Hanover’s Blake Walston selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the MLB Draft
Fresh off his second straight NCHSAA 3A baseball state title, New Hanover senior left-handed pitcher Blake Walston was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 26th pick in the MLB Draft on Monday night.Walston, who recently became the third Wildcat to be named N.C. Gatorade Player of the Year, finished the season with a 13-0 record, 0.46 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 75 1/3 inning. He allowed three runs and struck out eight in 6 2/3 in his final high school start in Game 1 of the state championship series against Marvin Ridge on Saturday.
The last New Hanover player to be selected in the first round was outfielder Trot Nixon, who went to the Boston Red Sox with the No. 7 pick in 1993. Left-handed pitcher Tyree Johnson, who was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 38th round in 2014, was the last Wildcat to hear his name called.
Walston has until early July to decide whether or not he will sign with the Diamondbacks or attend N.C. State. If he goes to N.C. State, he won’t be eligible to be drafted again until 2022.
Each pick in the top 10 rounds is assigned a slot value, although it not necessarily the amount a player will sign for. The slot value for the 26th pick is $2,653,400.
The Diamondback’s Rookie Advanced team is the Missoula (Mont.) Osprey and their Class-A Short Season team is the Hillsboro (Ore.) Hops.
Walston wasn’t the only player with Wilmington ties to be selected Monday. UNCW shortstop Greg Jones went to the Tampa Bay Rays with the 22nd pick.
The draft continues Tuesday with rounds 3-10 and concluded Wednesday with rounds 11-40.