Junior first baseman begins professional career in Phoenix, Arizona
DAHLONEGA, GA - North Georgia College & State University first baseman Rob Flanigan reached a deal with the San Francisco Giants this week after being drafted in the 29th round with the 867th overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month.
"This is definitely a dream come true," Flanigan said after arriving in Arizona Wednesday afternoon. "Signing a professional baseball contract has been a goal I have had since I was four years old and I knew this would eventually happen if I stuck with it and put everything I had into it."
"I am so proud of Rob for making it to the professional level and pursuing something he is so passionate about, North Georgia head coach Tom Cantrell said. "He has worked really hard to get where he is today and the North Georgia baseball program could not be prouder of him."
After an ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-American junior season, Flanigan saw his name called by the San Francisco Giants on day two of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft.
"I was so excited to be selected by the Giants," Flanigan said. "I could not believe it when I saw my name come up and I can't wait to start playing."
Rob flew out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Wednesday morning and arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, at 12:30 Mountain Standard Time. After taking a taxi to the minor league complex to receive paperwork, he made his way to the hotel for the night.
He got his Thursday morning off to an early start with a 7:15 a.m. trip to the orthopedic doctor to complete his physical. Saturday morning, Rob made it official with the signing of his contract before heading out to begin workouts with the team.
"I am looking forward to just playing baseball everyday and learning as much as I can," Flanigan said of the opportunity to begin his professional career in the Giants minor league organization. "We have a great minor league system and I am excited about starting my career here in Arizona."
Flanigan was one of eight players drafted from the Peach Belt Conference after a season that saw him hit .403 with 20 home runs and 74 runs batted in. After just one season in a North Georgia uniform, Flanigan will not be soon forgotten as he will enter the record books in a slew of different categories, including his single-season record 20 home runs.