WAYNESBORO, Ga. - Watching Burke County's Jonathan Broxton on the mound and watching him sit in a chair in front of the family computer waiting to be drafted are eerily similar experiences.
When Broxton was getting thumped by Greenbrier in an early-season game, he keept his composure and the expression on his face stayed the same. No emotion.
When he's striking out 130 players in 74 1/3 innings and going 9-2 with a 1.21 ERA while hitting .596 with seven home runs and 40 RBI, the look on his face never changes.
So, why should anyone be surprised by what happened Tuesday in his family's computer room? Why should they blink in disbelief when Broxton, who was listening to the draft via the Internet, found out he was selected by the Los Angelos Dodgers with the 60th overall pick and just sat there?
The 30 friends and family in attendance at the Broxton household about 18 miles from the center of Waynesboro naturally went crazy. Hugging and kissing and crying.
Not Broxton. His expression stayed the same. No emotion.
"I really hadn't thought about (draft day) before today," Broxton said. "It was just like any other day."
Which might be a tiny understatement, considering, of course, it was a life-altering 24 hours.
But that's just the way Broxton sees it. And he says, in the eyes of major league scouts, that's an advantage.
"I don't show any emotion, and the scouts liked that attitude," Broxton said. "They don't want you to have an attitude. They don't want you to pitch a fit."
So, he stays quiet. And just goes about throwing his 95 mph fastball to hitters who can't catch up.
But he still has work to do - the Dodgers will show up at the Broxton's 3-acre property either today or Thursday, and after a contract and signing bonus are negotiated between the team, the Broxtons' and their adviser B.B. Abbott, Broxton will have 15 days to report to Rookie League ball in Vero Beach, Fla.
But Randy Broxton, Jonathan's father, has no problem sending his 6-foot-4, 240-pound 17-year-old (he'll turn 18 June 16) into the real world a month after graduating from high school.
"He's been around baseball all his life," said Randy, a production manager at Bellcrest Homes. "The ballpark is his home. That's where he's most comfortable."
"The thing about him is that his knowledge of the game is just wonderful," Burke County coach Donald Wheeler said. "He's a great young man, and he'll do anything you ask him to. If you ask him to play first base, he will. We even had him play outfield this year. He'll do whatever it takes, because he loves the game."
Now, he'll get paid to play. He'll get paid a lot.
Last year's 60th pick, also a high school pitcher, received a signing bonus of $795,000. Randy said he was told this year's second-rounders could see an increase of 10-20 percent.
But ask Broxton if he's excited about becoming the richest teen-ager in this area, and, not surprisingly, you'll get a shrug of the shoulders.
"I don't worry about the money," Broxton said. "I just want to play."
Said Randy: "You could pay him a penny to play. He doesn't care about the money."
All he really cares about is traveling to Florida later this month, putting on the Dodger blue uniform and rifling fastballs past hitters.
Probably with the same emotionless look on his face. The same way he's done his entire life.
"This day has just got to be unbelievable," said Broxton's mother, Essie, a secretary at Burke County High School, as tears trickled down her cheeks. "There are no words to express.
"We worry about what he'll do, but we know if it's baseball, he'll be just fine."
Here's how Burke County pitcher Jonathan Broxton, who was taken 60th by the Los Angeles Dodgers in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft on Tuesday, spent his day.
8:30 A.M.-Wakes up for what could be the biggest day of his 17 years. With 8 1/2 hours of sleep, he should be well-rested.
10-Fixes an egg sandwich for breakfast before watching SportsCenter on ESPN and taking a shower.
12:45 P.M.-Enters the computer room in his family's house to connect to the Internet and listen to coverage of the draft on www.mlb.com.
1-Draft begins. The Pittsburgh Pirates select Ball State's Bryan Bullington with the No. 1 pick. Broxton says little during the next hour.
1:21-Food keeps appearing from the oven. This time, Broxton's mom, Essie, pulls out a big pan of homemade macaroni and cheese.
1:39-With the first round complete, the Compensation A round begins. A hush falls over the Broxton household.
1:47-The first Jonathan of the second round is taken by the Boston Red Sox with pick No. 57. Unfortunately for the Burke County product, this Jonathan's last name is Lester.
1:48-The long wait is over. With the 60th pick, the Los Angeles Dodgers select Broxton. Cheers, hugs and tears are exchanged. He is the fourth player from Georgia to be selected and the 21st right-handed pitcher.
1:54-The phone rings. It's the Dodgers, and they want to talk to the newest member of the organization. He disappears, with phone receiver in hand, to his parents' bedroom for a little bit of privacy.
2:42-Broxton officially signs his first autograph as a professional, penning his signature on a baseball for his cousin Mark.
Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org