If Plan B is a full scholarship to a major university, things are probably working out pretty well.
That is the situation for Shawnee High School senior Jarret DeHart.
After not being selected in Major League Baseball’s annual draft, DeHart will be headed to Louisiana State University later this summer.
“I knew it was a win-win situation no matter what happened with the draft,” DeHart said. “Obviously if I was selected, then I’d have the opportunity to go pro, but, if not, I’m headed to one of the best baseball programs in the country at LSU.”
DeHart, a left-handed bat and right-handed arm, signed a National Letter of Intent to attend LSU in February.
As previously reported by The Sun, the school offered a full scholarship package, including room, board and books.
“Jarret is one of the best players in the northeastern part of the United States,” LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri said at the time of DeHart’s signing.
Baseball’s draft works differently than the other major sports in that players can be drafted directly from high school.
The player can either choose to go pro immediately or attend college for at least three years.
Despite being excited about a new city and new team with LSU, there was a level of disappointment for DeHart about not being drafted.
On June 7, after the draft ended, he tweeted “everything happens for a reason, looks like I’m going to be heading to LSU.” He later thanked everyone for their support.
“I was hopeful but realistic going into the draft,” DeHart said. “As I said, everything happens for a reason, so I’m excited to be headed to college.”
With bigger and more exciting opportunities as well as a commitment to LSU on the horizon, it would have been easy for DeHart to take his senior year lightly but he says that is exactly what he wanted to avoid.
“The draft and what’s coming next is always in the back of your mind but you try your best to take it one day at a time, one play at a time and make sure you’re having a productive year,” DeHart said. “That preparation is what gave me the opportunity to play for LSU.”
Shawnee went 15–10 this season and entered the South Jersey Group IV tournament as a six seed. It reeled off three wins before losing to №1 seed Eastern High School, 16–6.
DeHart did allow himself the time to stop and smell the roses throughout his senior year.
“I made sure to take the time to sit back and say this is the last time I’m going to play high school baseball so just make it fun, and it was a blast,” DeHart said. “Senior year was an awesome experience.
“We had a lot of seniors on the team so we really tried to enjoy our last season together.”
As far as plans for summer, DeHart will play in summer leagues close to home and continue to work out, but mostly he hopes to enjoy what could be his last summer in Medford.
“Summers going forward will be at the collegiate summer league in Cape Cod so definitely want to enjoy this time with my family and friends before heading down to Louisiana,” DeHart said.
Classes start at LSU Aug. 26 with freshman orientation beginning Aug. 19.