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Twine selected in MLB draft
CAROLE GASKAMP/Contributor -
Falls City graduate Justin Twine takes his turn at bat during the Beavers’ 2014 season.Twine was drafted by the Miami Marlins with the second pick in the second round and must now decide between going straight into professional baseball, or playing for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in Fort Worth.
FALLS CITY -- Most high school graduates face big decisions in the months that follow, but for Falls City’s Justin Twine, no decision in his life has ever been bigger than the one he now faces.
With the second pick in the second round of the 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, the Miami Marlins used the 43rd overall selection to draft Twine. The superstar athlete now has until mid-July to decide if he is going to begin his professional baseball career now, or continue on his path to college.
On Nov. 13, 2013, Twine signed a letter of intent to attend school and play baseball for Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. TCU is considered a premiere school when it comes to baseball, so Twine’s decision is made that much more difficult.
The MLB rules are pretty simple when it comes to who can be drafted. Players who have graduated from high school, but have not yet attended college or a junior college, are eligible. In addition, college players from four-year schools who have either completed their junior or senior years, or are at least 21 years old, can be drafted, as well. Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed, are also eligible for the draft. Once a draft selection is made, a team generally retains the rights to that player until mid-July. For 2014, all signings must be completed by midnight on Friday, July 18.
Heading into the draft, Twine’s high stock began to rise even further. At last measure, one analyst had him as the No. 81 player, up from the No. 161 prospect he held earlier in the year.
When detailing Twine, most of the so-called “experts” criticized him for his “long swing,” though they praised his bat speed and power. All lauded him for his athletic ability, and one MLB.com analyst described him as being one of the best two athletes in the entire draft.
Most agreed that while his athleticism is unquestioned, he is still seen as “raw” in pure baseball terms. The Marlins drafted him based on his potential, and see him as a valued player for their franchise.
Because of his athleticism, many of the experts think he would remain as a middle infielder for the Marlins, though he could be moved over to second base from his normal spot at shortstop. Others suggest that because of his speed, he could find a new home in the outfield.
The Wilson County News was unable to reach Twine by telephone, but did speak to Falls City Athletic Director Steve Marbach.
“Right after he was selected, we texted back and forth,” Marbach said. “Since then, I haven’t talked to him. He’s got plenty of people giving him advice and demanding attention, so I just told him I’m here if he needs anything.”
Whether Twine chooses Fort Worth and the TCU Horned Frogs baseball team, or a career that is sure to begin with one of several Marlin minor league affiliates, Twine is certain to have a bright future in baseball.
Congratulations, and best of luck to you, Justin!
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Wilson County News
June 18, 2014 4:46pm
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