HAGERSTOWN — Christian Binford might have been too excited to get much sleep Tuesday night.
During the early evening hours Tuesday, Binford got the phone call he had been waiting for all day — that he had been selected in the 30th round by the Kansas City Royals in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He was the 906th player selected.
“I was on pins and needles all day,” said Binford. “It was a little later than I thought, but I’m overwhelmed by the opportunity to just say I was drafted.
“I’m happy to be considered as a top player in the draft.”
The Hagerstown native, a recent graduate of Mercersburg Academy and the top high school pitcher in the Tri-State area, is the third Washington County player to be drafted in as many years.
Last year, Kansas City drafted Clear Spring’s Brandon Glazer in the 24th round. Smithsburg’s Josh Conway was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 42nd round of the 2009 draft. Glazer is playing at The College of Charleston and Conway went 8-2 this year for Coastal Carolina.
Binford will be pitching somewhere in 2011, whether it is in the Royals’ farm system or at the University of Virginia, where he is set to attend in the fall.
“I talked to UV’s pitchng coach (Karl Kuhn) to let him know I was drafted and they were very excited,” said Binford. “We’ll talk to (the Royals) and see where we go from here.”
Binford worked out for Kansas City at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium last week.
“I was nervous like you would expect anyone would be, but I thought the workout went good,” said Binford. “Kansas City was the organization that showed the most interest from the very beginning of the process.”
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound righthander came off Tommy John surgery to have an outstanding season at Mercersburg. He went 9-2 with a 0.57 earned run average. In 61 innings he allowed only 25 hits, seven walks and five earned runs while striking out 83.
Through 30 rounds, the Royals drafted 15 pitchers, five from the high school ranks. The final 20 rounds of the draft will be conducted today.