Cord Sandberg didn’t get a whole lot of sleep Thursday night.
The first day of the amateur baseball draft had come and gone, and Sandberg, ranked as the 56th-best prospect by MLB.com, wasn’t among the first 73 picks spread out over two rounds.
Friday afternoon, however, Sandberg, a recent Manatee alum, was feeling a bit better.
And a bit relieved. And very elated.
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The Philadelphia Phillies selected Sandberg in the third round with the draft’s 89th overall pick, and it appears he will forgo college – he had signed to play football at Mississippi State – to take a stab at professional baseball.
Sandberg said he and the Phillies agreed on a signing bonus of $775,000 plus the equivalent of four years of school at Mississippi State. He has until next month to sign.
“My mindset is I’m going to try to become a major-leaguer,” Sandberg said moments after his name was read on MLB.com, where the draft is being streamed live. “I’m just going to go out there and play some baseball.”
Sandberg said the Phillies called him Thursday night midway through the second round and said they were interested in him as well as two or three other players.
“They picked somebody else,” said Sandberg, a three-year starter at quarterback for the Hurricanes who played center field with the school’s baseball team. “Maybe they didn’t want to pull the trigger because of football.”
That all changed Friday. And Sandberg is headed to a team whose run of success from 2007-12 – five straight division titles, two pennants and a World Series championship – was crafted primarily by homegrown guys such as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels.
“It’s a really good organization,” said Sandberg, who worked out for the Phillies at their minor-league complex and spring training headquarters in Clearwater, which is also home to the franchise’s high Single-A affiliate. “I feel good about going there.
“I ‘m going to do everything I can to make it as a major-leaguer, and try and prove all the people wrong who didn’t pick me.”
After a rough first day of the draft, Sandberg was ready to look forward.
“Going into (Thursday) night, I knew there was a possibility I could go higher. But I also believe teams make decisions,” he said. “It was definitely tough. I didn’t get too much sleep (Thursday). But it came. I got drafted. It feels good to have a home.”