A year ago at this time, Johnny Eierman was in the midst of an arduous recruiting process, weighing which school would provide the best opportunity to extend his career.
These days, the former Warsaw High School (MO) standout is fresh off his first professional season and starting instructional league in Port Charlotte, Florida as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Drafted in the third round (119th overall) by the Rays in June’s MLB Draft, Eierman (right) ultimately decided to begin his professional baseball career and forgo a scholarship to collegiate baseball powerhouse Louisiana State in the process. As a junior, the shortstop hit .574 with five home runs, 10 doubles, six triples, 36 RBI and 17 stolen bases on his way to Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association First Team All-State honors.
In the wake of an eye-opening showing at the Area Code Games last summer, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound shortstop hit .571 with 10 home runs, 10 doubles, 33 RBI and 24 stolen bases as a senior, and garnered MHSBCA First Team All-State and Prep Baseball Report Missouri Player of the Year honors.
For Eierman, however, the decision to begin his professional career was merely a matter of following his heart, even with a scholarship to LSU on the table.