Red Bank Catholic pitcher/shortstop Al Molina is on campus in Conway, South Carolina choosing Coastal Carolina over the Philadelphia Phillies organization
Al Molina tells Shore Sports Zone that he’s on campus at Coastal Carolina University and will enroll in summer classes to begin his college baseball career. The Philadelphia Phillies 29th round draft pick is choosing college baseball over the opportunity to enter professional baseball right now. “Yes, I decided to go to school and I drove down last night,” Molina said.
All major league teams have until July 18th to sign their 2014 draft picks, but Molina is poised to make an immediate impact for the Chanticleers, a traditional college baseball power. The highest signing bonus Molina could have received was $100,000, but the former RBC Casey will be eligible to enter the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft where he can improve his draft stock.
For Coastal Carolina, it’s a huge boost. Longtime head coach Gary Gilmore has often recruited top talent only to see the major leagues snatch players away from him in July. Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto was the most famous Coastal Carolina signee who never set foot on campus thanks to being lured away by signing bonus money. The Chanticleers have reached the NCAA tournament in 12 of the last 14 years and twice were in the Super Regionals, one step away from the College World Series in Omaha. CCU is set to open a new $10 million dollar on campus baseball stadium in 2015.
Molina certainly had the interest of the Phillies organization when he played on the Jersey Shore’s Carpenter Cup championship team. Molina played the final two games of that tournament at Citizens Bank Park and had an RBI double in the semifinals.