By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Drew Bridges, a recent graduate of Carthage High School, expects soon to choose between professional baseball and NCAA Division I Missouri State University of Springfield.
Bridges, currently playing with the Springfield-based 18U Blue Midwest Nationals, was picked by the Yankees on the 20th round — No. 614 among 1216 overall — last week in the major league draft.
“The Yankees are coming in this week or next to talk contract,” Bridges said Monday. “I’ll make a decision after the meeting.
“If I get the money I’m asking, I’ll sign. If not, I’ll go to Missouri State,” Bridges said.
Bridges said he worked out in Carthage for representatives from the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Marlins.
“I honestly didn’t care which team drafted me,” Bridges said. “I was disappointed I didn’t go higher. I was keeping up with the draft (on a computer) and the Orioles called me during the third round. The Yankees, I believe, also called during the sixth round.”
Bridges, who bats left and throws right, is a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder. He’s playing third base for the Nationals. The Nationals are coached by Randy Merryman, Kyle Powell and Michael Eck.
Bridges, in the spring at CHS, played shortstop and pitched for Mike Godfrey’s Class 5 Tigers (21-2 overall and co-champions at 6-1 with Willard in the Central Ozark Conference Large Division).
Said Godfrey: “I thought he would go higher (in the draft), too. But it’s neat to see Drew have those kind of choices — the Yankees or Missouri State. It’s neat for our program and even all the kids in Carthage.”
Godfrey placed Bridges in the No. 2 hole in the batting order in his senior campaign. The all-stater averaged .522 with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 8 home runs, 33 runs scored, 35 RBI and an on-base percentage of 62.
Bridges, who hit seven homers as a sophomore, averaged .457 as a junior with 11 doubles, 2 triples and 27 RBI for the 16-10 Tigers.
Drew is the son of Carlene and Mark Bridges.