Christian Binford was a 30th round pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2011 but has decided to retire after repeated elbow injuries.
When the Kansas City Royals drafted Christian Binford in the 30th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, he already had a verbal commitment to play collegiate baseball at the University of Virginia but decided to forgo that and begin his professional baseball career.
It’s certainly hard to gauge what you’re getting in a 30th round draft pick but diamonds have emerged from all over. The Royals certainly took their time with Binford who had already recovered from Tommy John Surgery as a sophomore at Mercersburg Academy.
He started out the 2012 season playing for the Burlington Royals, the team’s rookie league. There he made 8 starts and threw 40.0 innings with 31 strikeouts to just 4 walks, all to the tune of a 2.03 ERA. The following season, he made 23 starts for Single-A Lexington while tossing 135.0 innings with 130 strikeouts to 25 walks. Again, his ERA was impressive sitting at 2.67 in those starts.
In 2014, he did really well for High-A Wilmington making 14 starts with a 2.40 ERA and was promoted to Double-A NW Arkansas. There he made 8 starts, again a very impressive 3.19 ERA and was promoted to Triple-A Omaha. That’s when the wheels started to fall off. Binford made 4 appearances, all out of the bullpen to the tune of a 5.40 ERA.
He began the 2015 season in Triple-A Omaha but after struggling in 6 starts, he was sent back down to Double-A. It would go on like this for another two seasons before the Baltimore Orioles ultimately picked him up in the 2017 offseason on a minor league contract.
Binford had been playing for the Kansas City T-Bones in the Independent League this season but was lit up in his start on August 19. Ultimately, he listened to his body and decided to call it quits and just like that the 26-year old is done playing baseball.
"“For the past two, three years the elbow was not there physically,” Binford said. “I always left everything I had on the field. I am happy about that.” – Herald Mail Sports"
It’s quite an accomplishment that a 30th round pick made it as far as he did and was one of the organization’s top pitching prospects, but at the same time, it’s a shame he couldn’t make it work.