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Top 10 Frisco and Little Elm Sports Stories of 2012: 3. From a Titan to a Tiger: Schotts joins major with Detroit draft selection
Centennial head baseball coach Jason Wilson said he knew what kind of talent his starting shortstop was and where he might go in the recent MLB first-year player draft.
Senior Austin Schotts didn’t last long in the event and was taken with the 121st overall pick with Detroit’s third-round selection.
“We knew he was going to go real high,” Wilson said. “There were numerous scouts at all our practices and batting sessions watching him.”
The Tigers made Schotts the second high school player from the Metroplex taken by Detroit. Schotts joined Rockwall-Heath’s Jake Thompson, who was taken in the second round, for two of the team’s first three picks.
“It’s every high school kid’s dream,” Wilson said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for [Schotts].”
Although the 5-foot-11 senior played shortstop at Centennial, Schotts is likely to change positions once he joins the Detroit organization with a switch to outfield or second base as the most likely scenario.
“I think [the outfield] is the right position for him at that level,” Wilson said. “The shortstop position at that level is really tough. [Schotts] is such an athlete though that he can probably play several positions.”
Wilson said he thought Schotts landed in a good spot with the Tigers and couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
“[Detroit] will fit him well,” he said. “Being drafted that high means they have a lot of faith in him and will probably try to get him to the majors in a few years.”
Schotts, who hit .375 with six home runs during his senior campaign with Centennial, helped lead the Titans to playoff wins over Rockwall and Hillcrest before Centennial’s season ended in the regional semifinals.
Interestingly enough, it was Thompson and the Hawks that spelled an end to the Titans’ hopes at state.
“[Schotts and Thompson] are both really competitive,” Wilson said. “They’re pretty familiar with one another though. I think that will help both of them when they make that transition.”
For Schotts, who became the only player from District 9-4A taken in the first 40 rounds of the draft, it was the combination of speed and power that Detroit was high on during the scouting process.
“That really sets him apart from everyone else,” Wilson said.
The Tigers reached the American League Championship Series last season before losing to the Texas Rangers in six games. The team recently added slugger Prince Fielder to the lineup on a nine-year deal to boost an already solid offense. With last year’s Cy Young winner in Justin Verlander still in the mix, Schotts figures to join a competitive team if he can reach the majors in the next few years.
“It shows that good things happen to good people,” Wilson said.