Georgia Tech baseball coach Danny Hall thought pitcher Buck Farmer and outfielder Brandon Thomas had played their last game for the Yellow Jackets after Tech was eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Florida on June 3.
Both juniors were selected in the Major League Baseball draft last week, but Hall said “it’s absolutely possible” that Farmer could return and that Thomas is in the same boat. Their decisions will be made primarily upon the signing bonuses that they are offered.
“[If] we get both of them back, I’ll be more than happy,” Hall said.
Thomas, a first-team All-ACC pick who finished the season fourth in the ACC in batting average (.360) and second in on-base percentage (.481), was taken in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Farmer, a two-time All-ACC selection who was third in the ACC in strikeouts with 115 in 106 2/3 innings, was drafted in the 15th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Both were selected later than anticipated, Farmer significantly so.
A new rule governing signing bonuses may complicate matters. Under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, teams were allotted pools of money to spend on signing bonuses through the first 10 rounds, based on the number and placement of a team’s picks. Teams exceeding the allotment face a tax or the loss of future draft picks.
For draftees taken beyond the 10th round, such as Farmer, signing bonuses more than $100,000 will also count against the pool by the amount in excess of $100,000. How much the Brewers offer Farmer — and the Pirates offer Thomas — may depend on what the two teams spend on other draft picks. The signing deadline is July 13.
Hall said that Farmer could still sign for the bonus that he believes he is worth, “but I’m 100 percent convinced that if he doesn’t get that, he’ll be back in school.”
A week after a pair of unimpressive losses, Georgia Tech regained a bit of its footing. The Yellow Jackets delivered an emphatic 87-57 thrashing of East Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion to head into their final exam week on an up note.