Former Clarence High pitching star Mark Armstrong, selected out of high school by the Reds in the third round in 2013, has retired from baseball. Armstrong confirmed Tuesday that his pitching arm didn't respond well after undergoing three surgeries, the latest to remove bone spurs.
As it turned out, Armstrong made a wise decision to turn down a scholarship to Pittsburgh and play pro ball. The right-hander, whose fastball was in the 93-94 mph range in high school, signed a contract that included a $500,000 bonus. The Reds also agreed to pay tuition to a state school if baseball didn't work out.
"We made sure when I signed in case the worst happened that it was a win-win," Armstrong said Tuesday via text. "Used some money to buy a house too."
Armstrong, 23, is attending Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where he co-owns a sports facility with Dayton Dragons (Class A) manager Luis Bolivar. He's also coaching a high school team at a school similar to Clarence High. If his arm fully recovers and he wants to pitch again, the Reds left the door open.
"Got pretty lucky," he said.