Lamar King Jr rarely sees his father crying. But when the Calvert Hall baseball standout heard his name in the fourth round of the 2022 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres, Lamar King Sr., also burst into tears.
The Baltimore Sun first-team all-metro catcher is committed to Georgia Tech, but King told The Baltimore Sun that he plans to sign with the Padres after picking him up with the 120th overall pick.
“I have come to pay for what I have done,” said the king. “I wasn’t surprised. My family was crying and all. I had a few tears in my eyes because I was just so excited. It’s probably the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.”
King is the son of former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Lamar King Sr., who was selected in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft and played five years in the league.
His son has a similar build, standing 6-foot-3 at 215 pounds, even though the majority of that frame is behind the plate most of the time. It may not be the traditional frame for the catcher, but King has proven himself behind the plate, and the Padres have bought in.
“I think he gets to be a hard-working power hitter, a sizable player,” said longtime Calvert Hall coach Lou Ackerl, who retired at the end of the school year after 20 years of coaching. “But when he catches he goes downhill. He’s got soft hands, he’s got a mighty hand. I think he’s got a great player and a hardworking kid who will do everything it takes to be successful.” What he needs to do.”
King was ranked as the No. 102 prospect on ESPN Baseball analyst Kelly McDaniel’s list of the top 300 prospects for the 2022 draft. The 120th selection in the draft has an estimated slot price of $502,600, possibly turning King away from Georgia Tech.
With a father who has gone through draft-day preparation before—in a different game—King felt a solid footing underneath as he entered the second day of the draft.
“I’m looking up [my dad] A lot,” said the king. “He’s taught me a lot on the mental and physical side. From a young age, he always told me what it took, and I’ve always followed through, and it put me in the position I’m in right now. Am.”
The Padres had selected all the pitchers to start their draft before King was caught, joining him in an organization that has another Baltimore-area native in the pipeline. San Diego selected former Severna Park star Jackson Merrill with the 27th overall pick in the first round last year, and the shortstop is now ranked 87th on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects.
King said he plans to reach out to Meryl, and he’s excited to join an outfit with stars like shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
A pair of Baltimore-area high school alums were taken in the third round of the 2021 draft, with former Calvert Hall infielder Jose Torres being taken by the Cincinnati Reds and Gilman right-hander Peter Heubeck by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
King batted .506 for Calvert Hall with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs, helping lead the Cardinals to a record 17-6 in Acre’s final season. Now he will head the Padres organization.
“I’m extremely happy for her, for all the hard work and effort she put in,” Eckerl said. “And it worked for him.”