Asked what his initial reaction was upon hearing the news, Stokes said: “Just a big smile.”
Stokes is committed to play at Maryland next season. He said on Friday that he’s not ready to comment on whether he’ll go to school or head to the minor leagues, adding that he will make his decision within the next couple of days with the help of his family.
Lou Eckerl, Stokes’ baseball coach at Calvert Hall, said he wasn’t surprised that his star outfielder was drafted. Eckerl pointed to Stokes’ natural talent and work ethic as the reasons why scouts attended most of his games over the years.
“He’s put in a lot of extra time and effort to make sure he was a good player,” Eckerl said. “We knew there was a good chance he might get drafted, but you’re never 100 percent certain. But when guys keep coming game after game after game to see your player, you know that something good might come of it.”
Stokes was a four-year starter at Calvert Hall, and has been attracting scouts since he was an eighth grader, Eckerl said.
Stokes said it was a dream of his to get drafted and someday play in the major leagues.
“I had a good summer, and then the pro teams started to call and started sending questionnaires,” Stokes said. “That’s when I realized that this could become a reality.”