Sam Carlson envisioned being a first-round pick. It didn’t happen.
The Burnsville senior righthanded pitcher was taken by the Seattle Mariners with the 55th pick overall in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft Monday night. The individual slot value for that selection is $1.2 million.
“This feeling is unbelievable,” Carlson posted on his Twitter account. “Can’t wait to be a part of the @Mariners.”
The Mariners are one of two teams — the other being the Washington Nationals — who have never played in a World Series. They have finished with a losing record in 27 of their 40 seasons.
“This is a kid that we’re extremely surprised was there at 55,” Mariners director of scouting Scott Hunter told the Seattle Times.
The University of Florida recruit was hoping to become the first high school pitcher from Minnesota to be chosen in the first round of the draft, which started in 1965.
Carlson became only the fifth high school pitcher from the state to go in the second round — the most recent being Mitch Brown of Rochester Century to Cleveland in 2012.
Three Minnesota high school position players previously have been selected in the first round. They were catcher Joe Mauer (2001) and outfielder Chris Schwab (1993) of Cretin-Derham Hall, and infielder Tom Nevers (1990) of Edina.
After Kansas City’s selection with the 14th pick, Carlson appeared on MLB.com’s top five players available ticker. He was ranked as the No. 15 player available overall by MLB.com and No. 21 by Baseball America going into the draft.
“He definitely goes in top 40 picks,” wrote Keith Law before the draft. Law is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com and ESPN Scouts.
Carlson has shown outstanding control of all three of his pitches — fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball has consistently been clocked in the low to mid-90s and has topped out at 96 miles per hour.
Carlson is 5-1 with one save and a 0.67 ERA for the state-tournament bound Blaze. In 52 innings of work, he has only given 31 hits while striking out 76.
He is also a .493 hitter with seven home runs. Carlson plays either the outfield or first base when he’s not pitching.
Burnsville (21-6) will open play in the Class 4A tournament against Lakeville North (19-5) at Thursday at CHS Field in St. Paul.