Josh Baez didn't grow up with a lot of money. The recent St. Louis Cardinals draft pick moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic at the age of 11, settling in Dorchester, Mass.
His baseball talent emerged almost immediately; he won the Bay State Home Run Derby at age 12. Yet, it took years for Baez to find the appropriate stage to showcase his skills at the high school level. He started at Cristo Rey in the Boston Public Schools before transferring to Snowden International as a sophomore. He eventually landed at Dexter School on a need-based scholarship for his junior and senior years.
Just because Baez didn't grow up around money doesn't mean he was willing to take a discount after getting selected by the Cardinals in the second -- with the 53rd overall selection. Before the Cardinals selected Baez, front office executives understood that he had a strong commitment to Vanderbilt, and it would take a lucrative offer to lure him away.
Baez and his agent held firm in their convictions, and the 6-foot-4, 230-pound outfielder recently signed for $2.25 million -- almost $1 million over the original slot value of the 53rd overall selection ($1.34 million). Baez recently joined New England Baseball Journal to talk about his draft experience.