Stuns Ole Miss and signs with the Dodgers

Scott Van Slyke (RF, St. Louis, M) - Missouri's Gatorade Player of the Year made an unexpected move on Friday and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers which ended his Ole Miss career before it ever began.

Scott, who was drafted in the 14th round, was wanting Top 5 round money. It is practically unheard of for a player drafted this low to actually receive Top 5 round money, but Van Slyke was able to capitalize on the Dodgers inability to sign several of their higher draft picks.

The following information was revealed during our interview with Scott Van Slyke father, Andy Van Slyke:

Are the reports correct that Scott signed with the Dodgers? "Yes he did. He officially signed with LA on Friday morning."

What was the determining factor in opting for the pros instead of Ole Miss? "His original intent was to always sign if he was drafted high enough. It looked like he was going to go to Ole Miss because he was drafted in the 14th round, but the Dodgers offer was just too good. They are going to give him $10,000 a semester for 8 semesters when he decides to go back to school, and they are giving him a signing bonus that is comparable for someone who goes in the upper 3rd round. He will also get a bonus every time he moves up. We both felt this was the best way to get to the big leagues as soon as possible."

Which class will he start with for the Dodgers? "He will be playing in the Rookie league at Vero Beach (FL)."

When did you notify Ole Miss of your decision? "I think Scott talked to Coach Bianco on either Thursday or Friday. He wanted to make sure he signed before he let them know. To be honest, we thought he was going to Ole Miss for sure, and we looked forward to it. But, the Dodgers made a surprise move and offered him what we wanted. I thought Ole Miss was going to be the perfect for Scott. Their coaches, facilities, just their whole program and the level of passion for Ole Miss baseball right now is unheard of. There is no other school like Ole Miss. It is hard to find that passion on the college level that the Ole Miss people have. We were excited about being a part of it, but the reality is this is the fastest track to see if he can hit with a wooden bat and play on the processional level. That was a big part of our decision. The aluminum bat issue was a huge sticking point. That aluminum bat is killing the college game. Scott could have had three great years at Ole Miss, but that does not mean anything if you can not hit with a wooden bat. The sooner we can see if he can hit with a wooden bat in his hands, the sooner we will know if he can make it in the league."

Is it unusual for a 14th round pick to get Top 3 round money? "Yes, real unusual. It really is. The Dodgers had a big budget going into the draft, and then they had some of their top picks not sign, so that left them a lot of money to spend on their lower picks. Fortunately for us, we were the beneficiaries. Part of me is disappointed that he is not coming to Ole Miss. I would have gotten to see him play a whole lot more, but here we are."

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