Hunter Waiting on MLB Draft

The Major League Baseball draft begins on Thursday, and Alabama pitcher Tommy Hunter is one of those eligible to be selected.

Hunter is a sophomore, but draft eligible because he turns 21 in July. After what he called a "mediocre" year that saw him move into the bullpen and then back to a starter's role, Hunter is ready to return to Alabama for his junior season if his pro offer isn't right.

"The draft situation is a personal thing," Hunter said on Wednesday. "If you get your minimum of money you're going for you're going to take it. I still have the same feelings for every at Alabama. It's a great institution, I love it to death. I'm at a time in my life where if the opportunity is right I'm going to take it. If the opportunity is not right I'm going to come back to school."

Hunter didn't say what amount of money it would take to sign him, but he did say he has a definite idea of what he is looking for.

"It's very exciting but it's very much cut and dried," Hunter said. "If I don't get what I'm asking I'm going to come back to school and get it next year. That's just how it is. I'm going to have fun with it. I'm going to be in contact with Coach (Alabama Coach Jim Wells) tomorrow. I'm going to talk to him about the whole situation and be upfront with everybody."

Draft eligible underclassmen in baseball generally have more bargaining leverage than seniors who have finished their year because they can decide to go back to school at any time, even after they are drafted. Hunter said he doesn't have any idea who might draft him or what round he might go in ("Your guess is as good as mine.")

Hunter was drafted two years ago in the 18th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but came to Alabama after weighing all his options.

For the first time, the draft will be televised this year. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. on ESPN.

"I'm just waiting on it," Hunter said. "I'm not doing a whole lot. We've got the family coming over tomorrow. Basically we're just waiting around."

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