Hunter Still Unsigned

Alabama pitcher Tommy Hunter was the 54th overall pick in the June 7 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, but he has yet to sign a professional contract.

"I'm still unsigned," Hunter said in an interview with last Thursday afternoon, after it was announced that Alabama Coach Jim Wells retired. "As of right now I'm still enrolled for the fall at Alabama."

Hunter, who just completed his sophomore season, was picked by the Texas Rangers with the 54th overall pick. In baseball, players can return to their college teams even after being drafted as long as they do not sign away their amateur status. Hunter indicated he was in no hurry to do so.

"I won't know anything until probably the last day, August 15," he said. "Negotiations are going on right now and I'm waiting to see what happens."

Hunter had not spoken to Jim Wells at the time of the interview, but had been told about Wells' leaving Alabama. He said Wells' departure would not make a big impact on his future plans.

"I heard through somebody else. I tried calling him and I didn't get through," Hunter said. "It's letting a few people down, I'm not going to lie about that. There's a lot that goes into it. I wouldn't say it's a positive move but if that's something he has to do, then he has to do it.

"I don't know the reasons behind it. It's sad, not only it's him leaving, our other coaches aren't going to be around. I don't know if the players are going to come that were going to come now."

Before the draft, Hunter said he had a signing amount in mind, and if his drafting team met his expectations with an offer he would probably turn pro.

Alabama also had six signees taken during the second day of the MLB draft. One of those, pitcher Danny Danielson, has already signed a professional contract and will not be playing for Alabama.

Others drafted include catcher Chase Weems (6th, New York Yankees), pitcher Austin Bailey (15th round, Boston Red Sox), pitcher Connor Hohen (21st round, Milwaukee Brewers), infielder Ross Wilson (35th round, San Diego Padres) and pitcher Jimmy Nelson (39th round, Cincinnati Reds).

Cale Iorg, who played his freshman year at Alabama before going on a two-year Mormon Mission, was drafted in the sixth round by the Detroit Tigers.

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