Keene becomes a Miami Marlin

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Miami Marlins hope that Brookhaven is the home to their future centerfielder and Christian ‘Bubba’ Keene hopes the same. The fleet-footed Keene made it official Sunday afternoon, signing with the Miami Marlins after the team drafted him in the 17th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft last week.

     Keene, will report to Jupiter, Florida Tuesday night for team physicals and assignments.

     “I’m ready to get going and start back playing,” said Keene, who graduated from Brookhaven Academy last month. “This is a dream come true.”

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     By signing, Keene elects to forego a baseball scholarship he signed with Copiah-Lincoln Community College. He also signed a football pact with the Wolves.

     “Me and my family thought about the options I had, but at the end of the day they just told me to do what I wanted to do,” added Keene, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound outfielder. “The Marlins gave me a deal I couldn’t turn down.”

     Keene will take part in a week-long mini camp with Marlins rookies this week before starting a 60-game regular season next week in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League.

     “He’s a guy we targeted and we liked,” said Marlins area scout Mark Willoughby. “A lot of guys in our system scouted him and he impressed them and myself too.”

     The Marlins drafted three high school outfielders in last week’s draft, with Keene being one of them.

     “I’m proud for Bubba and his family,” said BA head baseball coach Casey Edwards. “It’s also a proud moment for our program and school.”

     Over the last three years, three Brookhaven Academy graduates have been taken in the MLB Draft:: outfielder Corey Dickerson by the Colorado Rockies in the 8th round of the 2010 draft and catcher Kolby Byrd by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round of last year’s draft.

     “I love the game of baseball and to have the opportunity to play pro ball is really something I couldn’t turn down,” said Keene. “Last month I was playing my last high school game at BA, and now I’m about to play my first game as a pro. It’s a bittersweet feeling.”

     Keene’s outstanding athletic ability made him a college prospect in baseball and football. He was selected The DAILY LEADER’s Most Valuable Player on the 2011 All-Lincoln County Football Team and the MVP on the All-County Baseball Team. In football, Keene played wide receiver, running back, defensive back and punter, plus returning kickoffs and punts.