May 31, 2020

The Other Guys

June 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Major League Baseball’s 2011 First-Year Player Draft, now nearly a month old, ushered in the next crop of prospects.  Most of the hype and media attention centered on first rounders such as Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, and rightfully so.  Many first-round draft picks have the athletic talent, physical attributes and mental approach to play at the highest level of professional baseball. 

But several players from the lower depths of the draft  — it is a fifty-round event — will more than likely play in a Major League stadium.   Some will become household names, potentially even stars.

These other guys not only fill up organizational depth charts, they chase big league dreams.

The Baltimore Orioles selected oft-hyped high school pitcher Dylan Bundy fourth overall in the first round.  The club also selected Mike Wright, a right-handed pitcher from East Carolina, with the 94th overall pick in round three. 

Wright (6-5/195) established career highs in both strikeouts (75) and innings pitched (100) during his junior season.  The right-hander quickly signed a professional contract joining the Baltimore organization.  Speaking after the draft with Shane Miller of the baseball blog, Ball Game Talk, Wright noted his eagerness to begin.

“I expect to just keep improving, I don’t plan on pitching in the minors for long,” Wright said.  “My dream as a child growing up wasn’t to pitch in the Minor League it was to pitch in the Major League.”

If he navigates the minor leagues free of injury and inconsistency, Wright should realize his Major League dream.

Former Jacksonville University shortstop Jimmy Howick (6-2/190), a 21st round selection (640th overall) of the Houston Astros, enjoyed a successful junior season but was sidelined the final five games after sustaining a knee injury.

“I always felt like I had what it took to get an opportunity at the next level, but after I went down with my knee injury in the conference tournament, I really felt like it hurt my chances,” Howick said in a post-draft interview at Ball Game Talk.

“So when it happened I was just shocked and I couldn’t believe that it happened. It was a very exciting moment and I am so grateful for the opportunity.”

The infielder, currently rehabbing his knee with the Astros organization, will soon have an opportunity to show that he belongs in the professional ranks. 

Howick posted a .319 AVG for Jacksonville this past season adding 37 runs and 48 RBIs.

The shortstop has the collegiate resume, now he needs professional results.  And that’s how the other guys close the gap between the first-round bonus babies.  The only way a player earns a ticket to the big leagues is through their on-field results.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!