LELAND, NC (WWAY)– North Brunswick graduate Shelton Perkins saw a dream become a reality this week. The now James Madison University pitcher was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 16th round this week in the MLB draft.
Perkins was one of four JMU players selected in the draft and for him its about much more than himself.
“This is just as much about all the people that have supported me since I was at North Brunswick, than it is about me,”said JMU red-shirt junior Shelton Perkins. “It shows the kids around here that it is possible no matter what anyone says.”
Perkins’s baseball career has seen him play all over the East coast. He started out at East Carolina before transferring to Pitt Community College and then two years ago found a home at JMU. He has always dreamed of playing professional baseball, but if it didn’t work out he had a back up plan.
“It was always a dream of mine, that is what we all play the game for,”says Perkins. “I had thought about going into coaching, but now this opportunity has given me a path to continue to do that in another way.”
This season on the mound for the Duke of James Madison, Perkins was 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA. The coaching staff at JMU sees a bright future for the right hander especially coming out of the bullpen.
“There is certain pitches that only a handful of guys can throw and he’s got two of them,”said James Madison pitching coach Jimmy Jackson. “So, I think he’s going to probably stay a bullpen guy in the pros.”
Perkins will now head down to Florida for physicals and evaluations from the Baltimore staff before being sent out to a minor league affiliate of the Orioles. He says he will be forever grateful for the organization taking a chance on a Brunswick County kid.
“I got to pitch in Camden Yards a couple weeks ago in a workout with them, it was awesome,”said Perkins. “I am glad they gave me this opportunity and I’m excited about it.”