MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — One of West Virginia’s top pitching recruits, McLennan (Texas) Community College left-hander Greg Maisto, reportedly won’t make it to campus after choosing to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays.

McLennan coach Mitch Thompson said Wednesday that Maisto has agreed to terms with the Rays, though the team’s front office had yet to confirm the signing.

Maisto was part of a pitching-heavy 11-member class that signed national letters of intent with West Virginia last November.

Originally a Texas A&M signee, the 6-foot-1 Maisto transferred to junior college and went 7-3 with two complete games this spring as a redshirt freshman. While his 4.70 ERA wasn’t dazzling, Maisto’s low-90s fastball and promising secondary pitches made him a 16th-round selection by Tampa Bay.

“He’s a talented left-handed pitcher that I believe will continue to improve in,” Thompson said. “He has good sink on his fastball and has developed a pretty good breaking ball. I would not be surprised if he converts to a reliever in professional baseball.”

College programs typically lose top recruits to the MLB draft, but Mountaineers coach Randy Mazey signed six other pitchers for next season—all from the high school ranks.

Only one other signee, Caleb Ferguson, was drafted last weekend. The 6-foot-4 left-hander from West Jefferson, Ohio, was selected by the Dodgers in the 38th round. He faces a July 18 signing deadline with the big-league club.

Updates on other West Virginia players drafted:

Bobby Boyd (eighth round, Astros): The junior outfielder agreed to terms with Houston and was expected to report to Single-A Tri-City of the New York-Penn League. His draft slot of No. 226 carried an assigned slot value of $162,800.
Harrison Musgrave (eighth round, Rockies): Though expected to sign, the junior left-hander has not finalized his deal, according to the club. His No. 233 draft slot had an assigned slot value of $160,200.
John Means (11th round, Orioles): The junior left-hander, who’s expected to forgo his final season at WVU, had not signed as of Wednesday, according to the Orioles’ front office.
Sean Carley (14th round, Yankees): The junior right-hander signed and was stationed at Single-A Staten Island, also of the New York-Penn League.
Ryan McBroom (15th round, Blue Jays): The senior first baseman is in the process of signing, but there’s no official word yet on where he’ll report in the minors.
Corey Walter (28th round, A’s): The senior right-hander also is in the process of signing and awaits word on his reporting locale, expected to be Vermont of the New York-Penn League.
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  • Rick55

    Congratulations to Billy Fleming for getting the game winning hit up in the Cape Cod League tonight.

  • Rick55

    Aaron hahahaha
    I think some Marsha players got drafted too...into that local men's league you mentioned.

  • Rick55

    Four of the five players drafted out of WVU were drafted in rounds 8-15, roughly the top 1/3 of all players drafted, and MLB scouts are really really good at their jobs of evaluating talent. I am not sure how many earned their degree, but two factors are being left out of the equations (and I did find Aaron's stats very interesting). 1) to a man, each one of these players expressed nothing but gratitude, excitement, and a willingness to take on the challenge of chasing their dream of playing MLB at the cost of a few years of their lives while still being paid for playing, something they had dreamt about since they were little boys. The actual odds of any given player reaching the majors may be irrelevant to them; many successful major leaguers were drafted in lower rounds. Those who never make the the majors are still ok because 2) they can always get enough credits to finish their degrees if and when they're released, if not through scholarships, at least through grants, loans or family help. The few ex-minor leaguers I know never expressed any regrets about being given an opportunity to play, and even though they never reached the Show, had no regrets about playing in the minors.

    As for Means in particular, left handed pitchers are at a premium in pro ball and will be given every opportunity. It's more than possible that if he is released, he will find getting his degree not too burdensome financially, if that's what he wants to do. There is no guarantee that he will be drafted in a higher round in 2015 anyway, and takes the risk of injury. And in the case of Bobby Boyd, he will in all likelihood sign a large enough bonus to cover credits for a degree, if he chooses to do so.
    You may not be willing to give up a scholarship to earn a degree, Aaron, and of course that would be your choice, but any cold calculating odds of reaching the Show pretty much goes out the window when MLB comes calling.

    • Aaron

      As a former player, I completely agree Rick.

      As someone who has been in the business world for too many years, understands what a degree means and how hard it is to go back and as a student and a father of multiple students who more than understands the cost of college, I say emphatically, stay in school and earn the degree at all cost.

      • Rick55

        Good and fair points well made Aaron (as usual). And I'm with you up until the last two words of your reply. If I'm one of these young men, missing out on a potential MLB career because I needed my degree at all costs, the cost is too high, when other options may be available. Yes it's damn hard to go back to school but so is everything else including being a minor leaguer working toward a big dream. And it may cost you the price of regrets later in life.

        • Aaron

          Read the perspective

          • Aaron

            Okay, you got me Rick. Not at all costs. I don't want him transferring to marshall

  • Aaron

    I'm not so sure that I would give up a college scholarship because I was drafted by a major league team given the statistics of those drafted making it to a major league team. 66% of players drafted in the 1st round eventually play some major league baseball. That numbers fall to 49% for 2nd round draft choices and 32% for those chosen in rounds 3 through 5. Rounds 6-10 see 20% playing major league ball and players drafted after the 10th round have a 7% chance of making it to the show.

    The "slot value" mentioned by Alan above is the maximum bonus that player can be given without the team paying a luxury tax. The money mentioned above is significant but given the salaries of minor league ball players, I'm not so sure it makes up for passing on a degree. During their first contract season, the minimum amount a player can make is $850/month. Their pay depends on where you play. Triple-A players make $2,150/month and after the first year make no less than $2,150/month.

    Double A players make $1,500/month in their first year with no less than $1,500/month after the first year. Class A, full season first year players earn $1,050/month and then no less than that after the first year, unless they are assigned to short season and then first year players make $850/month and then no less after the 2nd year.

    Why a player like John Means would forgo a year of college eligibility in which he could likely pitch as many games as he would in the minor leagues and not earn his degree is beyond me. While it may seem a little clearer for Boyd or Musgrave, I have to wonder if what they have left over after agents and Uncle Sam, likely less than half their bonus, is worth giving up that degree as well.

    Given that the vast majority of players drafted after the 2nd round are more likely to play in a local men's league than they are to play anywhere above AAA, I say, get the education, particularly if you get scholarship money. After all, once they return to school, they are automatically eligible for the next year’s draft so why throw away the chance to get a degree?

  • Rick55

    As a 16th rounder, I certainly don't blame the young man for signing the pro contract. As a 38th round draft choice, I would pass. Play in college, improve your game, show scouts what you can do.
    Sounds like Mazey is looking to add depth in pitching this year, certainly will be much needed.

  • ViennaGuy

    Ouch - would like to have seen him come to Morgantown. I hope he does well in the Rays' organization.