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Martinsburg's King drafted by Nationals

June 10, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

On Monday, Brandon King hadn't given much thought to being picked in the Major League Baseball amateur draft that began Tuesday.

The Washington Nationals gave the new Martinsburg High School graduate just a little extra to think about after they selected him to start the 27th round on Wednesday. King, a pitcher and third baseman in high school, was drafted as a pitcher.

A day after selecting Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 pick and Drew Storen with the 10th pick, the Nationals continued to draft pitchers and added King to the list.

Whether he signs remains a question.

"(King) getting drafted is great for our program," said Martinsburg coach John Lowery Jr. "It shows he has the talent and that someday he could be a professional player. Right now, he might be better served to go to college."

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That's where many 27th-round draft picks out of high school head if they don't sign by Aug. 15. King was the 802nd player drafted and was the 14th of 16 pitchers taken by Washington in the first two days.

Saturday, King tossed a one-hitter as Martinsburg defeated Logan 8-1 in the West Virginia Class AAA state semifinals. Martinsburg went on to win the state title.

He ended the prep season with a .454 batting average and led the state with his 15 home runs and 55 RBIs. He also walked 18 times and scored a staggering 53 runs in 37 games.

King and the University of Tennessee recently agreed on a release from a previous scholarship, and he is in the process of working through partial scholarship offers.

King was unavailable for comments Tuesday.

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