WEST HAVEN — On Monday, Kyler Bush was boating with his friends.
On Wednesday, his name was called in the 2018 MLB Draft.
The 6-foot-5, left-handed pitcher from Fremont High was selected in the 40th and final round (pick No. 1,202 overall) by the Kansas City Royals, the team that scouted him the most throughout the season and the team he worked out for in late May.
“That’s super cool, not a lot of people get to say that I got drafted. Wasn’t even expecting that. I mean, it’s pretty cool to see my name up there on MLB.com right there,” Bush told the Standard-Examiner. “You could see my dad’s stress fall right off him.”
Bush has chosen to continue with his commitment to play baseball at Washington State this fall, he said. The amount of money he sought in a signing bonus was equivalent to being taken as a fifth- to seventh-round pick, but no one wanted to meet that price, he said.
“The main thing was the money. For me to pass up a pretty good scholarship that I got from Washington State, it would’ve had to have been a pretty big investment from a team,” Bush said.
Around “four to five” teams made six-figure offers to Bush through his adviser (the person who would’ve been his agent had he turned pro) on Wednesday, but the adviser declined them, saying it wasn’t enough to get Bush to forgo his scholarship and college eligibility.
At that point in the draft (11th round and on), the money teams dole out in signing bonuses isn’t as much as the top 10 rounds and makes college a more feasible option in many cases.
Bush wanted to feel like an investment to a team instead of someone who signed and might be more dispensable.
“My adviser always told me is the worst-case scenario: you don’t get drafted, you get to pitch in the Pac-12 (Conference). It’s one of the best (conferences) in the country for sure,” Bush said.
Bush will head to The Palouse in a couple of weeks to prepare for his Washington State career, but this might not be the last of his MLB Draft involvement.
He’s eligible to be drafted after his junior year at WSU, at which point he could potentially be a higher-rated prospect than he is now.
That could land him a substantially higher signing bonus than he would have received had he accepted the offers that teams made to him early Wednesday.
Bush was the only Utah prep selected in this year’s draft.
University of Utah junior center fielder DaShawn Keirsey Jr. was drafted in the fourth round (No. 124 overall) by the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
BYU shortstop Daniel Schneemann was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 33rd round (No. 1,003 overall). Cougars catcher D.C. Clawson was picked by the Los Angeles Angels in the 37th round (No. 1,111 overall).
Dixie State pitcher Tanner Howell was drafted in the 35th round (No 1,054 overall) by the Minnesota Twins.