Sam Carlson didn’t need long to settle the question of pros versus college, signing last week with the Seattle Mariners, the team that picked him in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft.
He was scheduled to report Tuesday to the Mariners’ rookie-league team in Peoria, Arizona, two days after receiving the Minnesota Mr. Baseball award. The pitcher/outfielder led Burnsville to the state Class 4A tournament for the second consecutive year, going 5-1 on the mound with a 1.54 earned-run average and 54 strikeouts in 41 innings. He batted .404 with five home runs and 16 runs batted in.
Carlson, whose fastball has been clocked at 95-96 mph, is expected to concentrate on pitching in professional baseball. He decided to forgo an athletic scholarship at the University of Florida, a decision undoubtedly made easier when the Mariners offered Carlson a $2 million signing bonus, well above the $1.2 million “slot” value for the 55th overall pick.
The Arizona League regular season runs through Sept. 2.
The number of professional hockey players with Lakeville ties is likely to grow in the next few years after Ryan Poehling and Jake Oettinger were selected with consecutive picks in the first round of the NHL Draft last week.
The Montreal Canadiens took Poehling, a forward, with the 25th overall selection. Oettinger went next to the Dallas Stars and was the first goalie selected.
Poehling (St. Cloud State) and Oettinger (Boston University) are expected to return to their college teams in the fall. Both will be sophomores. A team that drafts an NCAA player has his rights until 30 days after the player leaves college.
Poehling and Oettinger were teammates on the 2013-14 Lakeville North High School boys team that finished second in the state Class AA tournament. Poehling centered the Panthers’ top line with his brothers, Nick and Jack, playing wing (the three Poehlings since have been reunited at St. Cloud State). Oettinger became North’s starting goalie.
Oettinger left after his freshman season to play in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in Michigan and therefore missed North’s undefeated state championship year in 2014-15.
Poehling accelerated his studies at Lakeville North and graduated a year early. Last season would have been his senior year at North, but instead he was a freshman at SCSU, scoring 13 points in 35 games. Oettinger was 21-10-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .927 save percentage for a BU team that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Two other players with Lakeville ties were drafted in the seventh round. The Minnesota Wild took former Lakeville South forward Nick Swaney, who has scored 56 goals the last two years for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League and is committed to Minnesota-Duluth. Chicago selected defenseman Joshua Ess, who helped lead Lakeville South to the 2017 state Class AA tournament and has signed with Wisconsin.
NBA honors Eagan coach
Carrie Berran, basketball president of the Eagan Athletic Association, received the inaugural Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award at Monday’s NBA Awards Show.
The award will be given annually to a youth basketball coach that demonstrates integrity, character and leadership. In addition to her administrative duties with EAA, Berran coaches the association’s seventh-grade girls basketball team. EAA will receive funding, equipment and apparel to support the basketball program.
Each NBA team nominated a local youth coach for the award.
“I love the sport of basketball and working with kids, so to be honored with this award for doing something I am passionate about is simply amazing,” said Berran, a former Division I college player. “I am thrilled that Eagan Athletic Association Basketball will benefit from the award with the donation, Positive Coaching Alliance trainings and equipment.”
Farmington didn’t have an opportunity to celebrate the high school’s first state team championship the way it would have liked because it took place the same day as graduation. But the Class 4A champion softball team will be honored at a gathering at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, at the Farmington High School auditorium.
The event will include player introductions and a season highlight video. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony and team members will be available to sign posters.
Farmington, 24-3, defeated Anoka 1-0 in the Class 4A final June 9 on Emma Frost’s home run in the 10th inning.