Coming into the 2008 MLB Draft, we all knew that there were two Alabama signees that we had our eyes on: Destin Hood and Melvin Ray. Not surprisingly, both were selected.
Destin Hood was the much higher of the two, going about where he was expected to go, when he was taken with the 55th overall selection by the Washington Nationals. To say that Hood is now in an envious position would be a huge understatement. According to Baseball America, the Nationals gave their second round pick a year -- Nick Hagadone, a pitcher for the Washington Huskies -- a signing bonus of $571,000. Hood has publicly stated that he wants higher, more in the neighborhood of one million dollars, and in all likelihood he should get it. He's a few years younger than Hagadone, plus he is an every day player, and you have to factor in salary inflation as well.
And for the record, Hood expects to sign. According to published reports, Hood said he feels confident that he will sign with the Nationals. His agent at Reynolds Sports Management has explicitly told him that the final offer from the Nationals should be in the ballpark of what Hood was expecting. So, long story short, best of luck, Destin, do us proud.
Melvin Ray is much more interesting. He was not projected to go high, and that came to fruition. Ray was picked in the 33rd round with the 997th overall pick by the LA Dogers. Obviously, he's getting no big amounts of money, end of story. The real question mark with Ray is academics, and many feel that is a major concern. Long story short, if he doesn't think he will qualify, he will probably go the MLB route. If he can qualify, though, he's headed to Tuscaloosa, bank on it. The problem is, I'm afraid he's not in good academic standing, or otherwise he would have never been messing around with the MLB Draft in the first place.
Bottom line, Hood is as good as gone, and Ray may very well be as well. Honestly, though, it's not a major shock. The Hood situation was long expected, and Ray was always borderline academically. Thankfully, we had a Devil head coach with the foresight to see these issues on the horizon and oversign accordingly.