Scotts Valley High ace Robbie Erlin is headed for Arlington, Texas, today to seal the deal.
Erlin – the third-round pick (93rd overall) by the Texas Rangers in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft – agreed to terms with the Rangers last week to sign a professional contract. He’ll sign for just above recommended slot money for the 93rd pick Wednesday, beating the Aug. 17 signing deadline.
“It’s a real good fit, ” said Erlin on Monday night at a sendoff party attended by dozens of friends and family members. “[The Rangers] told me they really wanted to have me in there. They’re going toward pitching, and Baseball America has them as the top organization in baseball. So it really means a lot that they’d be high on me.”
Erlin is scheduled to his physical for the Rangers on Wednesday and sign the contract shortly thereafter. His father Rick is making the trip too. That evening, they’ll take in a Rangers game against the visiting Detroit Tigers.
By turning pro, Erlin forgoes the scholarship waiting for him at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.
Erlin will start the season in Surprise, Ariz., with the AZL Rangers, rookie ball. The season runs through Aug. 29. In Surprise, Erlin will join Cabrillo College alum Taylor Vail, a third baseman who was drafted in the 40th round by Texas. He’s now playing first base.
The Rangers drafted seven pitchers in the first 10 rounds of the draft and 29 pitchers overall in 50 rounds.
Erlin said reaching the bigs is the ultimate goal, he isn’t putting a time line on it. He said the expects the organization will tinker with his delivery.
“I’m going to go out and stick with what I’ve always done,” he said. “I’m going to learn from their development organization. They know what it takes (to get me there).”
The recent Scotts Valley High graduate, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound lefthander, posted a 9-1 record for the SCCAL-champion Falcons this season, recording 125 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 62 innings. He allowed 27 hits and posted a 0.34 ERA and 0.63 WHIP.
In his final game, he struck out a school-record 16 batters in the Central Coast Section Division III quarterfinals. He also threw four straight complete-game shutouts this season, including a no-hitter. In all, he produced 45 straight scoreless innings.