Posted: 9:43 pm Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Three Tech juniors turning pro 

By Ken Sugiura

Four Georgia Tech underclassmen were selected in last week’s major league baseball draft. At least three of them will get a jump on their professional careers.

Pitchers Sam Clay (Minnesota Twins, fourth round), Josh Heddinger (Detroit Tigers, 14th) and Matthew Grimes (Baltimore Orioles, 18th) have agreed to terms, foregoing the remainder of their Tech careers. Junior center fielder Daniel Spingola (Chicago Cubs, 24th) has not yet decided, coach Danny Hall said in a text message.

Tech’s two senior draftees, pitcher Dusty Isaacs (Toronto Blue Jays, 18th round) and infielder Mott Hyde (Houston Astros, 26th) have also reached terms, according to a tweet from Tech sports information assistant director Mike DeGeorge.

Heddinger’s signing bonus was $100,000 as well as tuition payments, according to Heddinger’s advisor Allen McDuffie. Clay, reached in Minneapolis, declined to divulge his bonus. According to Baseball America’s website, most players selected in the fourth round last year received signing bonuses between $350,000 and $500,000.

“I’m definitely excited,” Clay said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

For the underclassmen – Heddinger, Grimes and Spingola just finished their junior seasons, Clay was a draft-eligible sophomore – a considerable enticement to sign is the leverage that they hold in negotiations. A junior can return to school if the signing bonus offer is not satisfactory. A senior has virtually no leverage.

In last year’s fourth round, for instance, a college junior received $800,000, the top bonus in the round. Two high school seniors signed for $700,000. The two college seniors signed for $300,000 and $95,000.

With the deals, coach Danny Hall loses two of his three weekend starters from this season (Grimes and Heddinger) and his top two relievers (Clay and Grimes). Saturday starter Devin Stanton will return, and Cole Pitts and Jonathan King, who were expected to be the top two starters, will return from season-ending arm injuries. Ben Parr, who started 10 games mostly in a midweek role and had a 2.62 ERA, will also be back.

61 comments
billbrockman
billbrockman

Somehow this comments section turned into a flame war between two posters over everything BUT baseball at GT.


I think it's worth noting that Heddinger, who just signed for a bonus well above what might be expected for a 14th round pick, $100K, was called Tech's "worst pitcher" when he started the first game in the regional.


I hate to see Sam Clay go in particular, but these guys always have to think of a career ending injury if they turn down a big bonus.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

If VT plays the run like they did last year, I sure hope Johnson lets JT pass it more.

They also rushed Vad but a screen play (do we have one?) would work wonders.

Maybe year 8.

Can't expect to get that and 2 minute offense right away.


GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

Not only was Wommack not give a raise for our only BSC bowl season, he was fired as the scapegoat for the head coach's inadequacy (no 2 minute offense).

Not only was Cooper Taylor not given sufficient credit for saving the victory in 2008 when it looked like we were going to give it away, he got stuck with the new worthless hire Groh.

His transfering out (and getting drafted unlike most at Tech) was the first red flag for Groh.

Many more would follow until Groh had to be fired midseason to prevent a Bill Lewis type meltdown.

Few assistants are fired midseason.

Seldom happens.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

Hall and the baseball team should be given credit for giving Tech fans good news with the ACC championship when we very badly needed some.

Did Hall coach the team that had Veritek and Garciaparra or was it the guy who dumped us for Miami?

I wonder who was on the pitching staff of that team.

They under-performed by finishing 2nd in the nation unless the pitching staff was weak.

One of my themes is why we allow (by not giving big raises) to the coaches who actually do succeed here.

Saban get a raise it seems every year.

Bama not going to make that mistake.

I sometimes wish both Bobby Dodd (in 1956 or thereabout declined offer from Texas) and Paul Hewitt  (after near NC) left us.

Like Ross and Curry, they'd get to come back as heroes though they sold out the young men they had recruited here. 

Also would not come to be hated as often happens to those who are loyal to us.

Some hated Cremins though many are in denial about this.

I have proof if any want to argue that though I would prefer not to go there.

Dodd in his biography, with help from a sportswriter, remembered every slight from the fan base including a box filled with programs of the games he lost his first year.

His wife opened it expecting something better, probably thinking it would be a gift.

The coward who sent it did not realize Dodd, like Freigen later, was the brains of the outfit as O coordinator and the most responsible for good years prior to his golden years of 1952-1956.

Dodd would probably not be hired by Tech now as he took a while to drop his gambling on the golf course.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Hard to criticize them for it.   DeAndre Smelter could have received a seven figure bonus out of high school.   Lesson: Take the money when you can.

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

I thought this was a baseball article.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 Yeah, the defense that gave up 300 yards rushing had nothing to do with that loss.   I want whatever you're smoking/snorting/shooting up.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 So you gripe when we give coaches raises and you gripe when we don't give coaches raises.   Sounds legit.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

Still think Smelter will be making big bucks in the NFL. Don't know how anyone can possibly ignore that frame.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

The game was still in reach.

A touchdown wins it.

Georgia played their best game all year and saved a play they used successfully to shut up the Arkansas crowd.

They never used it again until the 2nd half against us.

They probably pulled Morgan Bennett to the side to open up the middle.

One of the d backs does a terrible job on this play and I doubt it was Bennett.

Wommack's coaching sure has improved on our trick play.

SEC would be a promotion I think.

Bowl game was also in reach if the offense performed well.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

George I gripe when we have a coach who fires others (Wommack) who get nothing when the reason for not pulling out a victory over Uga in 2009 was Johnson's lack of a 2 minute offense that I have heard will finally be installed this year.

With a 2 minute offense, he does not have to throw 4 passes in a row. The announcer called it changing into the O coordiantor of the Oakland Raiders.

With a 2 minute offense, we do not have to go from our strength (running) to our weakness (passing) 2nd pass was nearly intercepted.

Waited until 4th down to call a short one finally that was dropped.

Wommack got revenge in the bowl game, didn't he?

Well deserved too.

Should not have listened to Bradley and fired him to be different from Richt.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 So everything that happened for the first 56:40 seconds of that game is irrelevant to you?   Makes sense!

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 Then you should tell Dave Wommack to have a better skill set so he can negotiate better contracts.


And if you think you've isolated a loss down to one variable, you're either high, drunk, or both.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

Why the drug accusations?

I have completed my 8th straight day of 3 mile early morning runs.

Runner's high would be more likely.

I do not see being any more loyal to Johnson than he was to his assistant.

Especially since he hired a far worse one that nearly caused a team meltdown.

I do not like our stands getting redder and redder every arch-rival game.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein

No George.

I've followed Tech for a long time and I see a different game from you.

You've just decided to become the protector of the "faith".

But go ahead and give Johnson more years.

Until the East stands are all red come the home arch-rival game.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 Because being high as a kite at least helps me understand how someone could view things the way you do.


No one here is loyal to anyone.   Don't confuse thinking Johnson is the best option we have right now with loyalty to him.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

Well at least you are cracking me up with that line of argument.

I am always in the GT's quarterbacks corner and it has perplexed me and angered me how quick some are to dump their guy.

Like Tevin and Vad.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

The Tech mentality is to continue with failed coaches because we do not want to pay them off.

And let the best ones like Ross leave.

Bama not going to let Sabam get hired by the pros or another college.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 Tevin didn't get dumped and Vad left on on his own (though if you're talking about fans, I agree).

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 I'm not sure that's true, but it beats your mentality, which is to operate with hindsight to say which coaches should have been given raises (as though they have no say in whether to stay or not) and which ones should be fired.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

When did you start looking at this blog and responding?

The defense was losing the games and our clueless fans would blame it on Tevin. He was booed and criticized for a poor pass Vs Middle Tenn but Demaryious Thomas would have turned the same pass into a TD.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

No George.

No hindsight needed when the coach wins a very rare for Tech national championship.

Now wouldn't that help recruting more than playing on TO offense?

I've asked if Ross got a raise and how much.


GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 I have been posting since around 2010.   My handle is a joke about the Damon Evans DUI, if that helps.   Not sure why it's relevant, though.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 If only there was some sort of interconnected system of computers and a search website that you could use to find that kind of information....

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

I've encountered Juvenal's name in a book on Rome's 12 Caesars. Only two good Caesars in the group.

About like getting a good football coach.

Juvenal, though he does not seem to want to admit it, was terribly disappointed we did not find a way to put Vad to better use.

Heck maybe we should have made VT the starter and brought him off the bench as he did so well as Tevin's superb backup.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

Funny George.

I'm actually enjoying this.

You can question my logic all you like.

But do me one favor and do not question my fandom.

I should have indicated by now a knowledge of Tech sports that few Tech fans have.

Who else but me would be angry with the slight of Dodd after his first year?

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 So you're a narcissist, too?   I've not questioned your fandom a single time.   At this point I'm merely questioning your intelligence and coherence.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

I am not the only fan who thinks we wasted Vad's skills.

The majority turned against him though.

He does not leave if we beat Uga.

He may have seen Tevin's fate in his future.

Lots of Tech QBs would have liked to have Freigen instead of our usual chump O coordiantor.

Reggie Ball gave us many moments of happiness but few defend him either.

I wonder if the Goose would have just been another failed Tech QB with anyone else.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 Maybe.   The undergraduate population is roughly 13,000, which means the stadium is more than four times that size.   As a point of comparison, UGA has 26,000 undergraduates, but their stadium holds roughly 92,000, or only 3.5 times that.   Seems like it would make sense.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

George you are not helping.

I have been trying to come back and bring with me a young probably Uga fan of 11 (parents not Uga fans) who has athletic skills and brains though very rebellious from divorce.

I have bonded with him perhaps more than his step-dad.

I am not happy about a lot of things at Tech, remained quiet for a long, long time, but finally got fed up.

If I get quiet in the future it will not be from defeat on this blog but from deciding "why bother?".



GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 For more comparisons, Ohio State has an undergraduate population of 44,000, but their stadium holds 102,000, or 2.3 times their undergraduate count.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

Saban criticized fans (the student body since alums would take issue no doubt) for leaving early.

Regardless of the season ticket sales of both football and basketball, Tech fans keep track of prices and sell out when another fanbase (Uga, BYU for Mormon get-together), UNC in basketball) will pay a high price.

Saban would have a meltdown about that.

Criticize me all you like but I have never sold a tech ticket and fumed the whole BYU game (Homecoming) to find myself in the West stand about 20 yard line surrounded by Mormons.

Refunds a priority in this fan base.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 Surrounded by Mormons!?!?!   Oh, how did you ever survive such an ordeal!?!?

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

I didn't.

I decided that if that was all the loyalty the folks around me were going to have, I didn't need to waste my money anymore and haven't.

But maybe you should ask that question to the loyal Tech fans who did not sell out in the East for the arch-rival game.

Loyal but no reward for hanging in there thinking Johnson would finally pull an upset against someone.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

U missed the point intentionally to pretend I am racist.

The second biggest influence on my life was the Jewish family of Federal Judge Marvin Shoob. His son Mike and I were friends and they treated me like family.

The main point however was that Homecoming seats in the west stands should not be sold by a fan base and u can expect results like the Braves got vs the Red Sox when their fans also sold out to the highest bidder.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

Tech and Braves fans.

Keep selling out your teams but do not be surprised when the opponent comes from behind to whip them.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Radar123 People selling tickets to the highest bidder???  What is this, a free market or something?!?!

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GeorgeStein @Radar123

Saban and I disagree.

But hey, you don't want me to help pay Hewitt that 1.7 million dollars for the next three years, I won't.

Enjoy.