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  • BASEBALL

    Bohn agrees to deal with Marlins

    Ex-Phoenix standout will start pro career rather than play for Oregon State
  • PHOENIX — Justin Bohn had to put off an interview with a reporter for a couple hours Tuesday because of work.
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    • JUSTIN BOHN
      WHO: Former Phoenix High standout who had two all-star seasons playing shortstop at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif.
      WHAT: Was drafted in the seventh round, No. 202nd overall, by the Miam...
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      JUSTIN BOHN
      WHO: Former Phoenix High standout who had two all-star seasons playing shortstop at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif.

      WHAT: Was drafted in the seventh round, No. 202nd overall, by the Miami Marlins on Friday and has agreed to go pro. He'll relinquish a scholarship with Oregon State and next week will join the Batavia, N.Y., Muckdogs of the Class A New York-Penn League.
  • PHOENIX — Justin Bohn had to put off an interview with a reporter for a couple hours Tuesday because of work.
    On this day, the work was in his father, Jeff's, shop, where a new office is being constructed.
    Soon, the work will be as a professional baseball player in the Miami Marlins organization.
    Bohn, a 2011 Phoenix High graduate, was selected in the seventh round of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft Friday and elected to surrender a scholarship with Oregon State to begin his pro career.
    He reached a contract agreement with the Marlins and will fly with his father Sunday to the team's training facilities in Jupiter, Fla., to meet with team officials, take a physical and sign a contract.
    Bohn will then head to Batavia, N.Y., where he'll play shortstop for the Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League, a short-season Class A franchise that begins its season Monday.
    "It was the toughest decision of my life," said Bohn, who just completed his second season at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., where he repeated as the Golden Valley Conference player of the year. "Those were two of the biggest dreams in my life (playing for Oregon State and professionally). I was stressed out when school ball ended and I was faced with these opportunities.
    "There's a lot less stress now. It's such a good feeling to make this dream become a reality. I just hope to keep advancing and hopefully work up to the big leagues one day."
    The Marlins came up with an attractive package. They agreed to a signing bonus and to pay for his remaining college education.
    Feather River coach Terry Baumgartner said the deal was equivalent to third-round money.
    "That would have been hard for Justin to pass up," said Baumgartner. "It's a good way to start his career."
    Bohn didn't provide contract details, but he did say he spoke with Miami's area scout, John Hughes, about four times on the day he was drafted, mostly finalizing what it would take to seal the deal.
    Hughes had been in contact with Baumgartner and Jeff Bohn, but Justin had talked mostly to the Chicago Cubs.
    "Honestly, I thought it was the Cubs who would draft me if anything," said Justin. "I didn't really think about the Marlins."
    During the draft, Bohn was on a road trip to Walla Walla, Wash., with the Bend Elks of the West Coast League. He watched a couple rounds on TV Friday morning, then went to work out. Afterward, he boarded a bus with the team and checked the draft ticker on his cell phone.
    The friend he sat next to said, "How crazy would it be if your name popped up now and they didn't even tell you," recalled Bohn.
    The Marlins had the next pick, and sure enough, there he was.
    "I was just in shock," said Bohn. "Just to see my name on there was so unreal. It didn't really hit me and still hasn't hit me that I got drafted. It was just crazy."
    He played that night, an Elks' late-inning loss, and didn't contribute a lot.
    "My mind was elsewhere," said Bohn. "I was on cloud nine."
    He drove here on Saturday and was originally expected to head east Tuesday. However, his brother, Jeff, graduates from Oregon State this Saturday, and Justin got permission to stay for that.
    Bohn, a 6-foot, 180-pounder who starred in football and basketball as well as baseball for the Pirates, blossomed at Feather River after being overlooked by bigger schools.
    He helped the Golden Eagles to their seventh straight conference championship by hitting .335 and leading the team in hits (59), runs (39) and stolen bases (30). His speed was evident, and he also had pop in his bat, driving in 25 runs and hitting two homers.
    "He was the key to our offense," said Baumgartner. "When he was on base, that's when we scored runs. I knew it was going to be a good game when he was getting on base."
    There's no question in Baumgartner's mind that Bohn has the tools to advance through the minors.
    "They don't draft guys this high and give them the money they gave him if they don't have the skills to play," he said.
    The biggest thing Bohn must do at the next level, said Baumgartner, who has had six players drafted in his seven years at Feather River, is to slow down defensively. The errors he did make were less because of fielding, more because he sometimes rushed to throw out runners.
    "He has all the skills to play in the big leagues," said Baumgartner. "He has to stay healthy and continue to work hard and he has a chance to get there."
    Stan Meek, Miami's vice president of scouting, assessed Bohn's skills in a story on mlb.com.
    "Bohn is a real solid, plus runner, plus arm, solid defensive guy," said Meek. "We'll see how much the bat comes along."
    The story said Bohn joins an organization with several young, talented middle infielders. The Marlins have used Derek Dietrich, 23, and Donovan Solano, 25, at second base this season. Starting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is a 24-year-old rookie.
    Bohn said he needs to work on his power and adjust to wood bats (aluminum bats are used in college). And he'll see better all-around pitching: velocity, changing of speeds, location, intelligence.
    But, he said, "I feel like I can hang with those guys."
    It's a job he won't take lightly.
    Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com
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