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43rd Round Pick - Oliver Drake - from the Naval Academy


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I didn't realize we took someone from Navy - Oliver Drake, a 21 year old RHP. His numbers this season - 6-3 with a 3.70 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 80.1 innings - don't really stand out. He's interesting to me though because he's at the Academy. As a sophomore though, he can opt out.

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I wonder what slot is for the 43rd round. It's got to be low, and I'm sure if we sign Drake, it'll take a deal well over slot. If someone opts out of the Academy, then they have to pay the Navy back for the education they've received up to that point, and the Naval Academy prices the value of their education very high. I'm not sure how much Drake would owe after 2 years there, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was close to $100,000. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't even consider signing with the O's unless the signing bonus was much higher than that.

He sounds like he could be a good pick that late in the draft, though, with a hard fastball and good slider (according to that article).

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I wonder what slot is for the 43rd round. It's got to be low, and I'm sure if we sign Drake, it'll take a deal well over slot. If someone opts out of the Academy, then they have to pay the Navy back for the education they've received up to that point, and the Naval Academy prices the value of their education very high. I'm not sure how much Drake would owe after 2 years there, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was close to $100,000. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't even consider signing with the O's unless the signing bonus was much higher than that.

Interesting point, thanks.

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I wonder what slot is for the 43rd round. It's got to be low, and I'm sure if we sign Drake, it'll take a deal well over slot. If someone opts out of the Academy, then they have to pay the Navy back for the education they've received up to that point, and the Naval Academy prices the value of their education very high. I'm not sure how much Drake would owe after 2 years there, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was close to $100,000. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't even consider signing with the O's unless the signing bonus was much higher than that.

He sounds like he could be a good pick that late in the draft, though, with a hard fastball and good slider (according to that article).

Actually, as a boat school guy, I can tell you that middies can opt out up thru the summer of their sophomore year without any financial penalty. Once they report for classes as a junior, however, they are committed to the Navy and would face a payback if they left. So, Drake could resign from Navy and sign with the O's if he wanted. Not sure why'd he do that unless he's really a tremendous talent with a very good shot at a pro career. That's how it worked when I graduated in '95...pretty sure it's still the same way now.

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Actually, as a boat school guy, I can tell you that middies can opt out up thru the summer of their sophomore year without any financial penalty. Once they report for classes as a junior, however, they are committed to the Navy and would face a payback if they left. So, Drake could resign from Navy and sign with the O's if he wanted. Not sure why'd he do that unless he's really a tremendous talent with a very good shot at a pro career. That's how it worked when I graduated in '95...pretty sure it's still the same way now.

My brother is at the Naval Academy now, but you'd probably still know better than me - I can't keep track of all the technical stuff going on at the yard. I thought there was a letter of intent that they signed, or something like that, after their freshman year that locked them into the Academy. It could have changed in the last 13 years (there's certainly been a lot of changes in the past year with the new superintendent), but I don't know if something like this would change. This is a pretty big thing.

I guess the odds of Drake signing just went up (in my ignorant world:D), but it's probably still a long shot.

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My brother is at the Naval Academy now, but you'd probably still know better than me - I can't keep track of all the technical stuff going on at the yard. I thought there was a letter of intent that they signed, or something like that, after their freshman year that locked them into the Academy. It could have changed in the last 13 years (there's certainly been a lot of changes in the past year with the new superintendent), but I don't know if something like this would change. This is a pretty big thing.

I guess the odds of Drake signing just went up (in my ignorant world:D), but it's probably still a long shot.

As another Boat School guy, Coast Guard Academy, it is that you have no obligation until the end of the summer between your sophomore and junior year. Then if you leave or get kicked out after that, you don't owe any money whatsoever to the military, you just get put on reserve duty. I would think it would take top 5 round money to sign him especially since this year if he stays at the Academy he gets a "bonus" of $30,000 not to mention that he gets paid pretty much minor league salary to go to the Academy and is getting the best education, or one of, in the country, guaranteed stable job after he graduates, and still has the chance to play ball after he graduates, like Justin Johnston for Kane County, Nick HIll and Milan Dinga(Army grads), and Karl Bolt(Air Force Grad). Basically he would owe the Navy after he graduates 5 years unless he made it to the Majors and was able to pay them back the $300,000 education.

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Here is an interesting article about Mitch Harris, Navy's top pitcher. He was a highly ranked prospect who slipped due to the service issue. The Cards took a chance in the 13th round, and the Navy is making him serve his time so the Cards end up with nothing.

Now Harris will probably never get a shot to play in the pros. If Drake passes this up, there's a good chance he'll never play as well...

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Here is an interesting article about Mitch Harris, Navy's top pitcher. He was a highly ranked prospect who slipped due to the service issue. The Cards took a chance in the 13th round, and the Navy is making him serve his time so the Cards end up with nothing.

Now Harris will probably never get a shot to play in the pros. If Drake passes this up, there's a good chance he'll never play as well...

I thought the service schools were starting to release guys with pro aspirations?

Or maybe it's just the Army... I know they were going to release a linebacker from his service time if he went in the draft a couple months back.

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A wasted.....and totally mindless.....draft pick IMO, even in the 43rd round. I can't believe that there wasn't some high school or junior college player out there that was more worthy to be drafted than this guy, who is mediocre at best and who we have no chance of signing.....:confused:

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I thought the service schools were starting to release guys with pro aspirations?

Or maybe it's just the Army... I know they were going to release a linebacker from his service time if he went in the draft a couple months back.

Apparently the Army is letting them serve as recruiters and such when they are not playing. The Navy is taking a different stand though.

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A wasted.....and totally mindless.....draft pick IMO, even in the 43rd round. I can't believe that there wasn't some high school or junior college player out there that was more worthy to be drafted than this guy, who is mediocre at best and who we have no chance of signing.....:confused:

I disagree with you here. Unless a kid has terrible grades and has no shot at qualifying for college he won't likely sign that late in the draft. So you might as well take a shot on a guy like this. Also, look at his situation. He wants to have a shot at a professional career and he is eligible to opt out out of the academy.

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A wasted.....and totally mindless.....draft pick IMO, even in the 43rd round. I can't believe that there wasn't some high school or junior college player out there that was more worthy to be drafted than this guy, who is mediocre at best and who we have no chance of signing.....:confused:

Drake can be signed. Apparently Dean Albany thinks he's worth following and perhaps offering on. One hopes Albany knows what he's talking about, since he's also the one who coached/scouted Hoes...

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Apparently the Army is letting them serve as recruiters and such when they are not playing. The Navy is taking a different stand though.

The Marines did a similar thing for this Padre minor leaguer. I think he only had a few months left. It is great publicity for the Marines and Army. I'm not sure why the Navy wouldn't do something similar. They really should have with David Robinson, but they still ended up receiving lots publicity from his service.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-mlb_07_cooper030507&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

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I disagree with you here. Unless a kid has terrible grades and has no shot at qualifying for college he won't likely sign that late in the draft. So you might as well take a shot on a guy like this. Also, look at his situation. He wants to have a shot at a professional career and he is eligible to opt out out of the academy.

Drake definitely has a huge decision to make. But the difference between being selected for the Naval Academy and being only a 43rd round draft pick is pretty significant IMO. I love baseball, but if it were my son I would kick his butt if he chose baseball.

And, I don't buy the bad student/no college idea as a reason for any player signing or not signing, including Drake. A quick Google shows there have been many players drafted in later rounds who have had great ML careers. To name a few:

Mike Piazza 62 round - out of community college

Roy Oswalt 23 round - out of community college

Jeff Conine 58 round - out of UCLA

Keith Hernandez 42 round - out of high school

Ken Griffy, Sr 29 round - out of high school

Kenny Rogers 39 round - out of high school

Nate McLouth 25 round - out of high school

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Actually, as a boat school guy, I can tell you that middies can opt out up thru the summer of their sophomore year without any financial penalty. Once they report for classes as a junior, however, they are committed to the Navy and would face a payback if they left. So, Drake could resign from Navy and sign with the O's if he wanted. Not sure why'd he do that unless he's really a tremendous talent with a very good shot at a pro career. That's how it worked when I graduated in '95...pretty sure it's still the same way now.

The policy was the same for me when I gratuated from an academy in 1999 and I think the policy is still the same.

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