Crowe picked in 31st round by Indians

PF ace nearly a sure-bet to attend South Carolina
Jun. 10, 2013 @ 09:23 AM

After two days of waiting, Pigeon Forge pitcher Wil Crowe finally heard his name called the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.

The Cleveland Indians, a team that’s gone years without a true star pitcher, took Crowe — ESPN Insider Keith Law’s 36th-rated prospect in the draft — in the 31st round with the 921st overall pick. It’s almost a sure thing that the Indians won’t be able to lure Crowe financially. The big right-hander said Saturday night he turned down an offer of $1.2 million to go Friday night to the Houston Astros.

“They asked what our low number was, and we said $1.7, that’s what we had, and that’s what we stuck with,” Crowe said. “About three minutes later, (the Astros official) said ‘we can give him 1.2,’ and we said thanks, but no thanks.”

After the draft ended on Friday with Crowe not being picked, the Astros came calling again.

“After the draft was over (Friday), they called back,” Crowe said. “And he said, ‘We’re doing everything in our power to get you that (tomorrow), we’re still going to see what we can do, so don’t be surprised if we call.’”

But the Astros didn’t get the package together and with most teams sure he wouldn’t sign and would instead continue to college, Crowe went undrafted until the 31st round, when the Indians came calling.

“I’m honored that they picked me, it feels good to know (I was chosen),” Crowe said. “The (Indians’) area scout called me ... He called me and said ‘we’ll see what happens (financially).”

But Crowe’s content to go ahead with his plans to attend the University of South Carolina, which has won two of the last three College World Series.

SC coach Chad Holbrook sent Crowe a text after the draft was over letting him know he was excited for his future as a Gamecocks pitcher.

“He texted me and said he can’t wait for me to get on campus,” Crowe said.