Allin drafted by Seattle

By Jeffery Armstrong

Former Stockbridge High School baseball player Joel Allin may get one step closer to achieving his dream of playing major league baseball.

Allin, who signed in February to play college baseball at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 38th round of the Major League Baseball Draft this week.

Allin was selected as part of the "Draft and Follow" program, where a Major League Baseball team will draft a player, then follow his career through the summer to see if they will sign him to a minor-league contract. If the decision is not to sign the player, the player will be watched at his particular college and possibly signed at a later date.

Allin was thrilled to be drafted by the Mariners.

"I was very excited – it's been my dream to play in the major leagues," he said.

"I called my buddies and my girlfriend when I found out the good news."

Allin had been in contact with scouts from the Mariners and the Atlanta Braves and traveled to Savannah to participate in major league tryouts for both teams after graduating from Stockbridge. Last Thursday, the Braves invited him to Turner Field in Atlanta for a pre-draft workout. Allin said he didn't do as well as he wanted, for good reason.

"I was pretty nervous that day," said Allin.

Allin said the Mariners would follow him down to Savannah to watch him play on a summer league team called the Chain Gang for the next two months. After that, Allin and the Mariners will discuss whether he will sign with Seattle or head to Chipola.

Playing for the Mariners would be a nice cap to Allin's baseball career. He missed most of his senior season at Stockbridge with an injury and a suspension.