High School Sports

'We have to rep that 228.' Two Coast MLB draft picks make their decisions.

Pascagoula's Joe Garry Jr. has decided to sign with the Minnesota Twins.
Pascagoula's Joe Garry Jr. has decided to sign with the Minnesota Twins. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

It took less than 24 hours for both of the MLB draft picks from Coast high schools to decide how they want to take the next step in their baseball careers.

Harrison Central pitcher Brendan Hardy and Pascagoula outfielder Joe Garry Jr. confirmed Thursday to the Sun Herald that they will be signing with their new MLB teams and becoming pros.

Garry was drafted on Tuesday in the ninth round by the Minnesota Twins. On Wednesday, Hardy was picked up by the New York Mets in the 31st round.

Garry decided he was ready to make the leap on Wednesday, and Hardy revealed Thursday that he was ready to join him as a professional.

“We've been texting back and forth,” Hardy said. “We have to rep that 228 area code.”

The two friends built a bond through their years of playing on the same baseball diamond.

“We've been playing against each other since we were younger,” Garry said. “We have a close connection.”

Hardy and Garry both entered contract negotiations with a dollar figure in mind.

Garry, who signed with Pearl River Community College, already had a good idea what kind of money he would get from the Twins before he was drafted.

“We had already talked about it the day before,” he said. “We already had a set number I would go under. When we got the call, I kind of knew that the offer was going to be a good one.”

Hardy was a little less certain on what the offer would be, but he was pleased when the Mets put a number on the table.

“My family and I discussed it. We said if they came up with the right figure, we'd do it,” Hardy said. “If they didn't, I'd go to (Jones County Junior College) for a year and see where we go from there. Either way, it was a win-win situation.”

Garry said he expects to leave for Minnesota on Monday or Tuesday. He'll sign a contract while he's in Minneapolis and take a tour of the Twins' Target Field.

After that, he'll head to the team's spring home in Fort Myers, Florida.

“I'm kind of ready to go now,” Garry said. “They told me they are ready for me to get down there in Florida so I can work my way up and help the Twins win games.”

Hardy, who will leave Friday for Port St. Lucie, Florida, to sign his contract, has already envisioned himself taking the mound at Citi Field in a Mets uniform.

“I actually dreamed about it last night, and I've been thinking about it this morning,” he said.

How did that first outing with the Mets go in his dream?

“I did pretty good,” Hardy said. “Maybe it will be a case of déjà vu in my first time on the mound.”