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Goodwin picked by Cardinals

Former Demopolis High and Delta State star Devin Goodwin realized a long-time dream Thursday when the St. Louis Cardinals selected him with the 999th pick of the 2009 Major League Baseball Amateur Player Draft.

“I’m really pumped up,” Goodwin said from his Russellville home. “Really I was just trying to sit here and wait for somebody to come take me.”

A three-time All-Gulf South Conference selection, Goodwin had communicated with representatives from the Cardinals and the New York Mets.

“(Wednesday) I was told the Mets were going to take me. I was just waiting on their slot to come up,” Goodwin said. “I hadn’t heard from the Cardinals in about three or four weeks. I kind of thought they had lost interest.”

A slugging shortstop, Goodwin stroked 12 home runs and 51 RBIs for the Statesmen in 2009 while batting .345 with 18 doubles and scoring a team-high 68 runs.

“Really I can’t even describe it,” Goodwin, who also stole 18 bases on the season, said of the feeling that accompanied hearing his name called during the draft. “It is like a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to get drafted.”

Goodwin reported several weeks ago that he would be willing to play baseball in the independent leagues if his draft prospects failed to pan out.

“I’ve prayed about it a lot to be honest,” Goodwin said. “When I found out I was going to get to play independent ball, I felt like everything else was icing on the cake.”

On the draft’s final day and in the 33rd round, the Cardinals put an end to Goodwin’s wondering. Moments after the selection, Goodwin received a phone call from the organization. During the conversation, Goodwin learned that he will board a plane Sunday and head for Batavia, New York. There he will play for the Batavia Muckdogs, the Cardinals’ Class A Short-Season affiliate of the New York-Penn League.

“I’m ready to play,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin hit .332 with 201 runs scored, 57 doubles, six triples, 185 RBIs and 38 stolen bases in his DSU career. He also established a Gulf South Conference record for assists in a career, capping his career putouts at 675.

“It’s kind of hard to put a number on them,” Goodwin said when asked where his draft day experience ranks among his accomplishments. “But it’s right up there toward the top. I don’t know if anything will ever beat winning a state championship my senior year in football. It’d have to be pretty special to top that. But it’s up there.”