“It all went by so fast,” he said. “I didn’t really realize what was going on until it was almost over. I was meeting lots of people. Initially I had signed to play for South Carolina, and I was going there unless a team picked me in the first two rounds. I was going to come out if I was selected in the second round.”
That is exactly what happened on draft day 2012, when the Sox picked Callahan in the second round, pick No. 87 overall.
So, at 17 years old, when classmates were worrying about proms and finding a summer job, Callahan was a member of the Boston Red Sox organization, signing a deal with a $600,000 signing bonus.
The teenager had to have a long talk with his parents before making his final decision.
“We talked and they felt like I was mature beyond my age,” he said. “They thought I could handle it. Before I knew it I was on a plane to Boston for physicals, then I was thrown right into the process and was playing rookie ball.”
Callahan reported to the Gulf Coast League, appearing in five games for the rookie league squad, allowing five hits and five runs in 8 2/3 innings.
He spent the early part of 2013 in extended spring training before reporting to Lowell last week. He was going to pitch the home opener, but got bumped back two days due to a rain out and a roster move.
“This is such a great environment,” he said. “I’ve never played in front of anyone, and now I get to play in front of Red Sox fans and it is such an honor.”
How he ranks
Callahan is one of two 18-year-olds on the roster, along with outfielder Manuel Margot, a native of the Dominican Republic. There are also two 19-year-olds, infielders Cleuluis Rondon of Venezuela and Tzu-Wei Lin of Taiwan.