Mark Teixeira admits he never really paid too much attention to Gavin Floyd growing up. The two lived on the same street in Severna Park, but Floyd was three years younger than Teixeira.
It was Mike Floyd, Gavin's older brother, who Teixeira hung around. Gavin was just shy, the typical tag-along little brother who was driven to Mount St. Joseph Academy in Baltimore by his older brother and Teixeira each day during his freshman year.
But yesterday afternoon, Teixeira and Gavin Floyd -- whose parents' homes on Yorkshire Drive are about 100 feet apart -- spent the day together at the Teixeira residence reveling with their families after both were selected in the top five of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft.
Floyd, who graduated from Mount St. Joseph's in Baltimore, was the fourth pick by the Philadelphia Phillies, and Teixeira, who just finished his junior year at Georgia Tech, was selected fifth by the Texas Rangers. The duo became only the third set of ballplayers from the same high school to be drafted in the first round in the same year.
"We both kind of knew this would happen to both of us since we had been hearing so much about the draft all year," said Teixeira, who graduated from Mount St. Joseph's in 1998. "It's exciting, but it really is not that big of a surprise."
Gavin Floyd and Teixeira each followed the draft by listening to an Internet broadcast, and neither could explain how one block in a middle-class community could produce two top five picks, not to mention the multimillion-dollar contracts that should await them. Neither Floyd, who has orally commited to play at the University of South Carolina, nor Teixeira would comment on how much money they would be seeking to sign a major league contract.
"It's amazing that this happened to both of us," Gavin Floyd said. "It's something we both wanted since baseball has always been a big part of our lives."
Three other area players were drafted yesterday. James Madison University's Adam Wynegar, a left-handed pitcher who attended Centreville and was a second-team All-Met in 1998, was taken in the sixth round (168th pick overall) by the Chicago Cubs. Right-handed pitcher Paul Abraham, another Centreville graduate now at Shippensburg University, was selected by Texas in the 12th round. University of Richmond right-hander Brian Lane, an Arundel graduate, was selected by Boston in the 18th round. The first 20 rounds (616 picks) were yesterday. The remaining 30 rounds will be completed today and Thursday.
Two University of Virginia baseball players were also selected. Jon Benick, an infielder from Glen Lyon, Pa., was chosen by San Diego in the ninth round. Hunter Wyant, a shortstop from White Hall, Va., was chosen by Florida in the 16th round.
Gavin Floyd and Teixeira never played together at Mount St. Joseph -- as a fireballing freshman, Floyd was put on the junior varsity despite a fastball that was clocked in the high 80s. Aside from the impromptu pickup game at nearby Kinder Park in Severna Park, they never played much with each other either. Teixeira has only seen Floyd pitch twice, and Floyd didn't have time to admire Teixeira during his senior year at Mount St. Joseph because he had games of his own to play on the junior varsity.
However, in recent months, their families have been brought together by the impending draft: the Floyds as neophytes to the entire process, the Teixeiras as experienced advisers. After all, Teixeira had been through this process before. He was projected as a first-round pick out of high school. The Boston Red Sox were interested, tried to arrange a pre-draft deal, and when Teixeira refused, he was labeled as a tough sign, and slipped to the ninth round.
Teixeira's father John said it was in the back of his mind that when Mark would again be eligible for the draft, Floyd would be finishing his senior year. And what a year it has been -- for both Gavin and Mark.
This season, Floyd, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-handed pitcher, used his 93-95 mph fastball to post an 8-2 record, with a 1.11 earned run average, to go along with 103 strikeouts and 29 walks. At the plate, Floyd hit .322 with 26 RBI, 21 runs and five home runs.
As for the 6-3, 226-pound Teixeira, the third baseman returned from a broken right ankle which caused him to miss 11 weeks this season and hit .419 with 20 RBI and five home runs.