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DeSoto Central Player Taken in First Round of MLB Draft

SOUTHAVEN, Miss.- Austin Riley, a Mississippi State baseball commit from DeSoto Central High School, was drafted 41st overall in the Competitive Balance A Round of the Major League Baseball Draft. Baseball is a little different than football and basketball, in the fact that kids can be drafted right out of high school. This presents problems for recruiting for college baseball teams. Such as the case with young Austin.

His baseball coach at DeSoto Central, Mark Monaghan says the pick is valued at around $1,500,000.

“I think he went into it with a plan and he kind of knew a ballpark of what that life-changing money would be, and if it was met, then he would probably sign,” Monaghan said. “He was one of those guys that was excited of the opportunity to play at Mississippi State and play college baseball.”

Riley has until July 17th to make his decision on whether he’ll stay and go to school at Mississippi State, or forego college and head on to the pros.

“It’s just kind of one of those deals where he would cross that bridge when he got there… So he’s there, and so we’ll see,” he said.

Austin knocked 11 home runs out of the park this past year. Monaghan has been the head coach at DeSoto Central for three seasons, and behind Austin’s effort in the field, on the mound, and at the plate, he lead their team to a Class 6-A State Championship this season.

Coach Monaghan said that Austin is not only the best player he’s ever coached, but that he could coach for 30 more years and he would still be the best, and if it were him, it’d be a no-brainer to take this opportunity with the Braves.

The unique thing about being picked by the Braves is that their AA affiliate is right here in Mississippi. The Mississippi Braves are based in Pearl, and Austin would surely need to spend a good amount of time there on his way up to the big house.

“That’s another thing, I think that’s exciting for everybody, all of his friends and family in Mississippi,” Monaghan added. “That’s exciting to know that’s in the future.”

Here the full interview with Monaghan below:

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