Nathan Kirby, a lefthander at James River High in Midlothian, Va., was a Top 200 prospect considered to be virtually unsignable, but he has now done his part to make it official.
Kirby elected not to participate in the medical and drug programs that are required by Major League Baseball. In doing so, he has made himself ineligible for the draft.
The MLB conducts a predraft medical program for the Top 200 Prospects as identified by the Major League Scouting Bureau. Players selected are not required to participate, however there are a couple caveats that deter them from making that choice.
Players cannot provide their medical records to any one club. They have to release them to all 30 or not at all. The players identified are also subject to a random, unannounced drug test during the 30 days prior to the draft. A player that refuses to take a drug test is ineligible for selection.
“From the beginning, I fully intended to go to school at the University of Virginia and made my intentions clear to major league clubs,” Kirby wrote to Baseball America in an e-mail. “It’s an honor to be considered among the top prospects this year; however, I am not wavering from my collegiate goals. By not complying with the medical and drug program requirements for top 200 prospects, this was simply a way for me to reinforce that message and save everyone’s time.”
Kirby started strong this spring and could have been picked in the first two rounds, but his command wavered and scouts already knew he would be a difficult sign. His fastball ranges from 88-92 mph, and he has a hard, downer curveball.