By: Andrew Bottomley
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Clayton Keyes will soon have to choose between education and money.
Keyes, an outfielder for the Canadian Junior National Team, graduates at the end of the year, and he expects to be drafted in the first five rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft.
At the same time, he has committed to Washington State University.
"I don't know. It's kind of tough," said Keyes, on the field after the first practice of the national team’s spring training. "It kind of depends on what pick and, kind of, the money, I guess. But I don't know, it's going to be a tough decision, that's for sure."
Of course, Keyes is still young and his mother and father will be involved in the decision-making process, and they already know what they want their son to do.
"School," he said, instantly. "Education first."
If it is school, he would not be unhappy.
“We played a tournament there in August,” he said. “I talked to the head coach there and fell in love with the campus, so I knew that was where I wanted to go. I want to be close to home as well.”
In Perfect Game’s rank of the top 500 high schoolers, he sits at 263, and 41st among outfielders. Keyes is right in that area of potentially cracking the top five rounds, but could also fall to rounds eight or nine.
As a player, he is a very speedy outfielder that can hit, hit with power, is very comfortable in the field, and can steal bases.
Last season, he was second in Alberta’s Bantam ‘AAA’ league in stolen bases with 68. He has a quick 60-yard time of 6.71 seconds and will be one of the go-to guys for team Canada if they need to take a base in crucial situations.
Keyes wants to be that guy.
Hypothetically, with Keyes on first, bottom of the ninth, two out, and the green light, he knew what he wanted to do, and answered without hesitation.