Padres Draft: Robert Hassell will reportedly sign with team

First round draft pick Robert Hassell spoke with a Nashville-based radio station, indicating that he’ll sign with the Padres.

With a verbal commitment to play collegiate baseball at Vanderbilt next year, the Padres tabbed Robert Hassell as their center fielder of the future with the eighth overall pick on Wednesday evening. Hassell jumped on 104.5 The Zone, a radio station based out of Nashville, on Friday to discuss the draft process and his future.

When asked if there was a chance that he would still attend Vanderbilt in the fall, Hassell responded with, “I’m gonna be a Padre, for sure. I’m gonna be a Padre.” And specifically on being taken with the eighth overall pick: “My mind was in a million places,” Hassell told 104.5 The Zone.. “It wasn’t until the the day after where I settled down and I went wow, that was really cool.”

One of the best, if not the best, high school prep hitters in this class, Hassell also discussed when he realized that he could pursue baseball as a profession.

“It’s every kid’s dream. I always idolized the professional players. I was fortunate enough to get around some at a young age. I realized it was an actual possibility in middle school, but it wasn’t really until after this summer and what I did this summer ‘til I thought this was something that could really happen.”

While it doesn’t come as a huge surprise, Hassell was reportedly going to be a challenging sign away from Vanderbilt heading into the draft. I see both sides of it. Vanderbilt is one of the most established baseball programs in the country, winning the College World Series last year. They still have a ton of talent on their roster, despite having four players drafted, so Hassell could have had a shot at winning a National Championship.

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We’ll have more on the contract specifics when something becomes official, but it appears that the Padres can now shift their focus on signing the rest of their class, including Cole Wilcox. You can listen to the full Hassell interview right here.