Mason Martin was watching the names go by on the draft tracker Wednesday morning when his popped up in the 17th round on his computer screen.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected the recent Southridge High School graduate with the 508th pick overall of the Major League Baseball Draft.
“I had been talking to their scout the past couple of days,” Martin said. “When it came down to it, they drafted me, and then they called.”
Martin is the second Southridge player taken in as many days. Pitcher Conner O’Neil, a 2013 graduate, was drafted Tuesday by the New York Mets in the seventh round (217th overall).
The 6-foot, 200-pound Martin, who bats left and throws right-handed, was the first player taken on Day 3 who rated in the Baseball America top 500. He was listed as the No. 5 draft prospect in Washington, and 312th in the nation.
“My name didn’t pop up as early as expected, but it’s a dream come true,” Martin said. “It’s super exciting.”
Prior to the draft, Martin worked out for the New York Mets, Miami Marlins and the Detroit Tigers. The Pirates wanted a look at him too, but their schedules did not mesh. But that did not keep them from picking him up in the draft.
“They love my physicality, how strong I am, and they like my bat — that is one of the main points that they liked about me,” Martin said of the Pirates. “I’ve also worked hard on becoming a better all-around player. Nothing but positive things to say. I think it’s a good fit.”
Martin, who has signed a letter of intent to play at Gonzaga, said he isn’t sure if he will sign with the Pirates.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said. “We have to see what the best offer is, and the pros and cons of each. As a family, we will be deciding on that. Both are great options. Either way, you can’t go wrong in this process. I have something to fall back on. I have a great institution in my back pocket.”
During his season year at Southridge, Martin hit .507 with 38 hits — including nine doubles and five home runs — he scored 35 runs, drove in 30 runs and had 10 stolen bases as the Suns finished second at the 3A state tournament. He also was a first-team Mid-Columbia Conference outfielder.
“We had a great year,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”
This summer, Martin is schedule to play for the Alaska Goldpanners, a college wood-bat team, which is part of the National Baseball Congress.
He committed to the team a couple of weeks ago after one of the Gonzaga coaches put the plan in motion.
“I have to talk with the coach to see when they want me up there,” Martin said of making the trip to Fairbanks. “They have a game that start at midnight. That will be different.”
This year’s Midnight Sun Game is June 21 against the San Diego Waves.