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Reds draft St. John’s recruit, who’ll likely end up in MLB

Jun 7, 2011, 11:40 PM EDT

Steve Lavin can probably exhale. If Amir Garrett ends up playing pro baseball, next season seems unlikely.

The 6-5 wing is a two-sport threat, rated as a top 100 prospect for the class of 2011. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Reds selected him in the 22nd round (685 overall) of the MLB draft Wednesday.

At least one report indicated he could bypass college hoops for the minors if he were taken in the 7th round or higher because it could’ve meant a $1.5 million signing bonus. Though that seems unlikely for now. Especially when even Garrett’s unsure of his future plans.

Still, Garrett’s a 6-5 lefty who throws in the 90s. He’s sitting on a baseball lottery ticket.

Garrett is one of nine incoming Johnnies recruits, all of whom could play key roles in Lavin’s rebuilding project. Garrett will be vying with Sir’Dominic Porter, Jakarr Sampson and Maurice Harkless for playing time. He could end up being a star with St. John’s, but his baseball skills are impossible to overlook. Some think he could throw 100 mph one day.

“There might be 100 players in the NCAA and NBA that can match his size and athleticism, whereas there might be five in the whole country in baseball,” Southern Nevada pitching coach Nick Aiello told Luke Winn. “I think he realizes that when he gets off the bus in A-ball, there won’t be anybody who looks like him.”

But hey, the kid wants to hoop. From Jeff Eisenberg:

Darrow Garrett describes his son as “a baseball player who happens to play basketball,” but he says “it will take a lot” for a Major League franchise to persuade Amir to give up on  hoops right now. The elder Garrett harbors dreams of his son emerging as the next dual-sport athlete like Bo Jackson, so he doesn’t believe it’s necessary to choose between the two sports yet.

Good luck to Garrett. He gets to follow his hoops dream and hopefully cash in on his baseball talents. That’s quite a gift.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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