Reed lives out childhood dreams
Ole Miss junior third baseman Chris Coghlan is first Mississippian selected in draft
By Rod Walker
Justin Reed needed just one word to describe his emotions after being selected in the fourth round of Tuesday's Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds.
"Breathtaking," said the 18-year-old center fielder who played his senior season at Hillcrest Christian after transferring from Callaway. "It's something that doesn't come along every day. Growing up, everybody always tells you to dream big and big things will happen. I had been dreaming this all my life, and now it's real."
Reed, the 114th overall pick, was one of a dozen Mississippians and the state's lone high school player taken on the first day (18 rounds) of the two-day draft. Ole Miss junior third baseman Chris Coghlan was the first Mississippian chosen, going in the supplemental round (the 36th pick overall) to the Florida Marlins.
Coghlan became the highest Ole Miss player picked since MLB began publicizing the order of draft selections in 1997. The highest pick previously was Michael Rosamond, a Madison Central product who was taken by the Houston Astros with the 42nd pick in 1999 and now plays first base for the Double-A Mississippi Braves.
Early indications suggest that Reed, an Ole Miss signee, and Coghlan, who has a year of eligibility remaining with the Rebels, won't suit up as teammates next season in Oxford. Not with possible six-figure salaries awaiting.
The players drafted 36th and 114th in last year's draft (Travis Buck and Justin Maxwell) received signing bonuses of $950,000 and $386, 000, respectively.
Reed seemed to have his mind already made up Tuesday, shortly after receiving the phone call from the Reds.
"I definitely plan on signing with them (the Reds)," said Reed, who planned to call Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco Tuesday night to inform him of his decision. "I never really followed the Reds, but I've always been a Ken Griffey Jr. fan. It's a good organization."