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Baseball: Payton joins Travis as MLB draft pick

Mark Payton

Mark Payton

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Updated: June 7, 2014 6:02PM



Mark Payton got a double dose of good news on Friday,

The University of Texas senior and former St. Rita standout got the Longhorns off on the right foot in their NCAA Super Regional against Houston, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI in a 4-2 victory.

Then he found out he’d been selected by the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft.

The center fielder went in the seventh round, 212th overall. He was the second Southland player to be picked; Indiana University first baseman Sam Travis, a Providence grad, went 67th overall to the Boston Red Sox in the second round on Thursday night.

“Obviously, my focus is on the University of Texas and winning the series,” Payton said by phone Friday.

He was actually glad to be spared the suspense of watching the second day of the draft unfold.

“We were playing, so it was nice not to have my ... phone in my hand all day,” he said.

With his college eligibility ending, Payton’s course is now set — unlike high school seniors, junior college players and juniors at four-year schools who were drafted and have to make a choice to go pro or not.

“It’s cool to have that (resolved), but ... it’ll take care of itself after the season,” he said.

He wasn’t sure which team he’d land with.

“I didn’t want to think about it,” Payton said. “Obviously, I have to take it and run with it as a senior.”

The three-day draft wraps up Saturday with rounds 11-40.



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