The Arizona Diamondbacks are going to bat for a prospect who is now paralyzed.
On Saturday the major league team drafted Cory Hahn in the 34th round of the baseball draft. Hahn wore the number 34 as a freshman at Arizona State University (ASU) when he broke his neck after sliding head first into second base in a 2011 game. Hahn, named California's "Mr. Baseball" out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., lost movement from mid-chest down.
The Diamondbacks emphasized to The Huffington Post on Monday that they intend for the pick to be more than just symbolic. The organization plans to offer Hahn a job, perhaps in its farm system at first.
Team president and CEO Derrick Hall wrote the following in an email to HuffPost:
We have not discussed with him so I would not want to get too far ahead, but we would like to ease him in during his final year of school, perhaps video work with our minor leagues based out of Salt River Fields and then look to full-time baseball operations opportunities upon graduation.
Hall told the Associated Press last week that he had spent time with Hahn in the hospital after his injury and came away impressed. When a scouting official suggested the idea of drafting Hahn, Hall called it a "no brainer" and said hopefully he could make team employment "come to fruition."
USA Today summed up the arrangement nicely, writing, "Looking forward to Cory Hahn’s major league career, whatever shape it takes."
Hahn has worked as a student coach for the ASU Sun Devils for the last two years.