Mason Hickman, a 21-year-old pitcher who played with the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks baseball team in 2017, has been drafted by the Cleveland Indians.
Hickman played with the Sharks when he was 18 years old, after moving to the Island from Tennessee to stay with Dianne Powers, one of the team’s host mothers. On June 11, Hickman was drafted by the Indians in the fifth round. Normally, there are 46 rounds of drafts in Major League Baseball (MLB), but only five rounds were held this year, due to COVID-19. Hickman currently attends Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
According to president and general manager for the Sharks Russ Curran, if there was a conventional 46-round draft this year, more Sharks players would have been drafted.
In 2019, the Sharks moved out of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) after eight seasons to join the more prestigious, 25-year-old New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). The NECBL is supported in part by the MLB, and more than 100 players are drafted professionally from that league each year. Last year, Sharks player and power hitter Philip Clarke was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. Clarke also attended Vanderbilt before being signed out of his final two years of eligibility.
Now, Hickman will go through the contract-signing process and begin his professional baseball career. Curran said that although there is no Minor League Baseball this year, Hickman and other draftees will most likely be sent down to Florida for extended training in September.
Curran said Hickman was a huge boon for the Sharks team, and is confident that he will make a great addition to the Cleveland Indians.
“He is just a great kid. He is super-hardworking, and deserves everything that is coming to him,” Curran said.