The Boston Red Sox thoroughly vetted Trey Ball. The New Castle pitcher/outfielder represented a potential big investment for the team, so the organization was careful. Boston’s area scout remained in frequent contact with Ball’s father, Ron Ball. Other representatives also came to get their own impressions of Trey Ball.
At one point, a sit-down meeting was held between the Balls and organization representatives at Mancino’s. The club was eager to get a sense of what Trey Ball was like both as a player and as a person before it potentially made such a big decision.
On Thursday, the Red Sox decided they were happy with what had seen in all their research and took the leap. They selected Ball with the No. 7 overall pick in the MLB Draft.
“Knowing that I was their No. 1 pick in that draft for them, for Boston, it’s just, I’m honored, I’m blessed for it,” Trey Ball said. “I’m very thankful.”
Trey Ball didn’t know he had been selected until he heard commissioner Bud Selig announce it and saw his name come across the television screen. Then the home where he was watching the draft with his family erupted into pandemonium. His first move was to hug his mother. His second move was to hug his father. The rest is hazy.
“I honestly don’t remember,” he said. “I just know there was a lot of yelling and screaming, clapping, hugging. Mom was crying. So it was a great moment.”
At some point, he placed a blue Red Sox cap on his head. His stepbrother (who wears the same hat size) collects hats, and a selection of caps of various teams was waiting for him when the moment came.
Ron Ball has long been a baseball fan, and he saw his son gravitate to the game at a young age. On Thursday, he saw him get selected by a big-league club.
“(A) very proud moment,” Ron Ball said. “To see his dream of professional baseball, to have the opportunity to maybe play professionally come true, that’s big, something he’s worked for his whole life.”
After the celebration, Trey Ball then had a conversation with various Red Sox representatives again. This time, they were congratulating him on being their selection. It began to sink in that his long-held dream of being drafted by a major-league club had become a reality.
“It’s been a surreal moment ever since it came on TV,” Trey Ball said. “And talking to them just made it that much more real.”
Trey Ball said that conversation didn’t offer any hints as to whether the Red Sox had drafted him as a pitcher or as an outfielder, though he suspects the plan is to use him as a pitcher. He was widely regarded as one of the top two-way players in the draft, though experts began to lean toward him likely being drafted as a pitcher as Thursday neared.
He will now face a decision about his future. Ball has signed with Texas, and he still has the option to play for the Longhorns if he elects not to sign with the Red Sox.
Ron Ball remembers Thursday’s celebration quieting down somewhat quickly. Everyone was eager to hear what the MLB Network crew had to say about the Red Sox’ top pick.