Pelham’s Hines drafted in 50th round

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Washington Nationals used their final pick Thursday to select Pelham centerfielder Alvin Hines in the 50th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft.

Hines, who has accepted a scholarship to play football at Samford University, was selected No. 1,492 overall. Pelham head coach Jeff Mauldin told him the news before football workouts at Samford Thursday afternoon. “He was on cloud nine when I told him, and he was excited, but then again, he had to go workout with the football team,” Mauldin said.

Hines, while feeling honored and excited about being drafted, said he is going to take some time to think the decision over, but is leaning toward staying at Samford.

“If they come at me and they say, ‘We’ll pay for your college,’ and that I have a really good chance, then I’m going to definitely think hard about it,” Hines said.

Hines first drew the eyes of Nationals’ scouts at an early season tournament in Mississippi and was asked to participate in a pre-draft workout at Pelham High School in May. During the pre-draft session, Hines ran a 6.37 second 60-yard dash, above the average time MLB scouts look for, according to Mauldin.

“The guy’s eyes kind of popped out,” Mauldin said.

Although Hines may not pursue a career with the Nationals at this time, Mauldin said getting drafted is great for Hines and Pelham.

“I think it’s really neat to see a kid get recognized for a gift he’s got from God,” said Mauldin, who has now had three players drafted in his coaching career. He had two players, Justin Standridge and Josh Styes, drafted from Clay-Chalkville.

One thing the draft has done is change Hines’ plan for baseball.

“It opens my eyes a little bit,” Hines said. “It really just shows me that someone sees that I have the talent to play at the professional level.

Prior to Thursday, Hines’ plan for baseball was to attempt to walk-on at Samford his sophomore season. Now he plans to pick up a bat as a freshman and work hard at both baseball and football the next four years.

“If I can manage to play football, play baseball and get a degree from Samford, I open up three options,” Hines said.

During his senior season, Hines hit .292 with four doubles and four home runs. He tied the single season stolen base record with 19 and set a career record with 55 base swipes.

Hines is one of seven outfielders selected by the Nationals and one of four Alabamians selected by the club, as University of Georgia pitcher and Birmingham native Trevor Holder was selected as No. 81. Snead State Community College players Dustin Crane and Darius Rudolph were selected No. 712 and 1,402, respectively.