Like any other high school graduate, Diamond Bar High’s Kenny Mathews is faced with the big decision – college or work?
His decision is made more difficult because his prospective employer is the New York Mets. The lefthanded pitcher was drafted Tuesday in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, the 372nd overall selection.
Mathews said he spent Tuesday morning with his mom, dad and girlfriend, watching the draft and waiting for a very important phone call.
“I’m just in awe right now,” Mathews said. “It’s a dream come true to get drafted. All the hard work finally paid off."
He has not decided yet between going pro or going to Cal State Fullerton, which he gave a verbal commitment to earlier this year.
“We’ll have to talk with (Mets) management and see if we can come to an agreement with a dollar amount,” Mathews said. “If not, I’ll go and work on my game at Fullerton. School will for sure be built into the contract.”
Mathews was 5-4 for the Brahmas with a miniscule 1.24 earned-run average and 80 strikeouts with just seven walks. Diamond Bar finished third in the Hacienda League and lost to Ocean View in a CIF wild card game.
Mathews has been on the major league scouts’ radar for some time, and Brahmas athletic director Kurt Davies said he thinks Mathews was picked in a good spot.
“That’s a good spot for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed because he is so anxious to prove himself,” Davies said. “On the other hand, he’s been so excited to be a Titan and I can see him having great success there too. It’s great for us either way.”
Diamond Bar High has a storied history with Cal State Fullerton, as they have had at least one player on the Titans roster for the past 17 years. The last was Big West Player of the Year Gary Brown, who was the San Francisco Giants first-round pick last year.