Mississippi State signee catcher Edward Easley talked with Gene's Page about his decision to withdrawn his name from the Major League Baseball Draft."> Mississippi State signee catcher Edward Easley talked with Gene's Page about his decision to withdrawn his name from the Major League Baseball Draft.">

Edward Easley Talks About His Decision

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/highschool/baseball/2003-2004/easleyedward.jpg" align="left"> Mississippi State signee catcher Edward Easley talked with Gene's Page about his decision to withdrawn his name from the Major League Baseball Draft.

For the season, Edward hit .469 with 12 home runs, 12 doubles and, 55 RBI in 36 games.

When did you first notice that the scouts were really going to be serious about you this season?
"I would probably have to say the first high school game. I showed up at the field and when I got out of my truck there were a good 8 to 10 (scout) there. We were facing Grenada (High School) and (highly thought of senior pitcher) Terrell Young. I'm sure they were there to see him, but I had been informed that there were going to be some guys there. It was very exciting."

Were there scouts at all of your game? "Probably not every game, but on an average there were at least two teams at most of the games."

Did you start noticing the same scouts coming back to your games?
"I did. Some of the area scouts came early in the season. Then, if I performed well, they brought their supervisors and their cross-checkers in. That happened about midway through the season."

Did you think to yourself that they must be getting pretty serious considering that they were bringing in their supervisors and cross-checkers?
"I thought so, but I wasn't real familiar about the whole process and how everything was handled. I was informed by a lot of people and learned a lot throughout this process. It has been a lot of fun."

Did having so many scouts watching you throughout the season affect your play at all? In other words, did you start pressing, thinking that you had to perform well in front of these guys?
"No, not really. I had my days. Some days I had a good day, some days I didn't. I couldn't let that bother me. I just went out and played my game everyday."

What did the Major League Baseball scouts tell you that they like about you?
"They always told me that there aren't too many good defensive catchers that can also hit. They said that was a plus for me. They also said that I was more of a line drive hitter now but that I could hit for power in the future."

When did the scouts really get serious with you as far as the pro baseball draft is concern?
"About two weeks ago it started getting pretty crazy with teams calling me wanting to know if I was drafted in a certain round if I would sign. Last Wednesday, I sat down with my family and my advisor and we made some final decisions. I told him that I really wanted to go to school but I wanted to go to Milwaukee and work out for the Brewers, so that I could be sure my decision was one that I wanted to stay with. And that's what I did. I went and worked out for them on Friday and I let all the scouts that were there know that I wanted to go to school and that it would be best if they took me off their draft board. Hopefully, no problems will occur and I can be a draft prospect three years down the road."

I know that you also had a tryout with the Yankees earlier, how did it come about that you had a tryout with the Brewers?
"They brought their cross-checkers and national supervisors to my high school and invited me in for a workout. Friday morning I showed up at their park and they had all of their scouting directors there. It was a real good workout."

How did you go about telling all the other Major League Baseball teams that you wanted to be taken off their draft boards?
"I just contacted the teams that had told me that they were interested in drafting me high. Plus, my advisor is letting some teams know. We decided to do it this way because we wanted to be trustworthy with them. That way, later on down the road, there won't be any problems and we can look each other in the eye."

Even though you have contacted teams letting them know that you want to be taken off their draft boards, are teams still contacting you?
"They are. I'm had a few teams call me today (Sunday) asking me what I'm thinking. I tell them that I want to go to school and that they can take me off their draft board."

Do you truly understand the fact that you may be turning down the possibility of a very large signing bonus, maybe even 1 million dollars with this decision?
"Nobody really knows how much money I may be turning down. The draft is weird because nobody really knows what they are going to turn down until the day of the draft. Although there is a chance that I could have been offered a lot of money, I can't really say that I'm turning down a million dollars to go to Mississippi State. All I'm turning down is an opportunity to get drafted high."

Talk about the All-American game that you are playing in Monday night (June 7th).
"It is a high school All-American game that is put on by the US Army. It's their second year to do it. There are 35 top players from throughout the country that have been selected to play in the game. It will be on FoxSports Net live at 7 o'clock. It is a great honor to be playing with all these top players, some of whom have signed with major schools like Stanford, Texas and Clemson. (Monday) afternoon some of these guys are going to be millionaires (due to the draft). It sounds funny to say that but it's true."

What are your expectations for your first year at Mississippi State?
"I'm just hoping to help the team out the best that I can. I'm hoping to play. I'm not depending on (MSU starting catcher) Craig Tatum leaving. In fact, I hope he stays because he is a great player and a great leader on the team. I know that if he doesn't sign he is the man there. I think I am versatile enough to play another position. Whatever it takes to help Mississippi State get back to the College World Series is what I will do."

According to your dad, Coach Polk came in last week and talked to you. How did that go?
"He impressed me very much. He wasn't trying to persuade me to come to Mississippi State and not go pro. He didn't make one negative remark about me going pro. He was just letting me know everything that Mississippi State has to offer me next year. We had a good meeting with Coach Polk and I look forward to playing for him the next few years."

Is there anything at all that could change your mind about your decision?
"No, I'm going to be at Mississippi State next year."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher/owner of Gene's Page, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. He can be reached by email at swindoll@genespage.com

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