Biloxi’s Colt Keith survives MLB Draft pressure cooker
As if Colt Keith wasn’t already stressed out enough about his baseball future, the former Biloxi Indian says he only got one hour of sleep the night before day two of the MLB Draft.
The rest of the day was even more of a pressure cooker situation, having to wait more than four hours and almost 100 picks to finally get the call of his life.
“It was like insane. It was definitely the most stressful night of my life and it went from probably one of the worst days of my life to the best day of my life in the matter of a minute.” Four rounds into the 2020 MLB First Year Player Draft, time was starting to run out on the former Biloxi baseball star. “There were a few teams that called and said hey, like we didn’t expect this guy to be here so we’re going to pick him instead of you. There was three or four of those calls, so it’s just bad luck and the circumstance really pushed me down.”
Down, but not out, Colt Keith says he started to accept a future that included three years at Arizona State before living out his lifelong dream of going pro. That is until the Detroit Tigers threw him a wicked curveball. “Detroit called out of nowhere and offered what I wanted, so basically went from a frown to a grin standing up going crazy and it was like that when they picked me. And it was just – you’ll never see me go from that down to that high in a matter of 10 seconds.”
What the Tigers offered their fifth round pick was third round money which could be as high as $857,000 and as low as $577,000. Either way, Keith tells News 25 he’s ready to sign with Detroit if he gets the same offer on paper even at the expense of a great plan ‘B.’ “It’s my dream to make it to the big leagues and if I go to college for three years that sets me back three years that I didn’t have to try to develop in the professional atmosphere. So it wasn’t like I was 100 percent MLB, 100 percent college. It was more like if they hit my number I’m really happy to go. If not, I’m happy to go to college.”
For a guy that won Gatorade Player of the Year for Mississippi in 2019 the same year he hit .527 with the same number eight home runs as he had strikeouts, Keith really had to sweat it out on Draft Day which could turn out to be a problem for opposing pitchers down the line. “Yeah, I’d rather be an underdog any day of the week. I mean I grew up like that. I was always a guy that had to work for what he got and I think it’s better that way. It’s more satisfying that way. And I think that’s one of the reasons I’m a success right now is because that’s the thing that drives behind me and makes me get better. I’m excited. Being a fifth rounder and I was expecting to be a first, second, third rounder, it does put an extra chip on my shoulder. And for me, I have something to prove now.”
Keith says he was drafted as a left side of the infield player, but could still get the chance to pitch on his way to the show.
He also says he’s expecting a call in the next few days with details as to when he can sign.