There is plenty to like about Touki Toussaint, the pitcher the Arizona Diamondbacks selected 16th overall in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
A right-handed pitcher, the 17-year-old went 8-2 with a 1.22 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 63.1 innings for Coral Springs Christian Academy last season.
He was so good, in fact, that he currently holds a scholarship to play collegiately at Vanderbilt, which happens to be one of the premier programs in the country.
It would seem the only thing that could stand in the way between the D-backs and a player who compared to ‘a young Bob Gibson’ would be the Commodores.
“I’m not sure, I’m still working that out with my family,” Toussant told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday when asked if was planning on foregoing the scholarship and turning pro with the Diamondbacks. “We’ll see where we go from there.”
Naturally the Diamondbacks are hopeful he’ll choose to start his professional career over attending college, or else they wouldn’t have spent their first-round pick on him.
At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, Toussaint was rated by Baseball America as the country’s third-best high school pitcher, while MLB.com had him as the eighth-ranked prospect in the entire draft.
From here, the team will have to find a way to convince Toussaint and his family that joining their organization is a better option than going to Vanderbilt, where the pitcher says he’d get a “world class” education, the likes of which you’d only be able to find at Ivy League schools.
But before you think it will come down to education vs. getting paid, Toussaint, whose fastball sits in the mid-90s, said that isn’t at all the case.
“I just want to play baseball. I don’t care about the money and stuff like that,” he said. “It’s not anything with money or signability or any of that.”