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Kaepernick gets drafted ... in baseball

Kaepernick gets drafted ... in baseball

Former Pitman High standout and current quarterback for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Colin Kaepernick was picked in the 43rd round of the Major League Baseball's first-year player draft by th...


POSTED June 27, 2009 4:39 p.m.
Colin Kaepernick is one of the best pitchers in Pitman High history, but people around him knew he had other intentions when he was competing in Turlock. Football was his passion and he carried that with him to the University of Nevada — though he could have gotten a scholarship to play college baseball, according to one coach.
But last week, he was given the opportunity to get back into that other sport after the Chicago Cubs picked him in the 43rd round of the Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft. The offer was flattering but Kaepernick is sticking with football.
He’s the starting quarterback for the Wolf Pack, a team that enjoys his quick speed and deadly arm in their spread offense. He amassed nearly 4,000 yards and 39 touchdowns last fall. And with him back next season, Nevada is expected again to be a serious contender for the Western Athletic Conference crown.
But at least Kaepernick knows he has options.
“Baseball gives him another thing to think about for the future,” said Mick Tate, Kaepernick’s former coach at Pitman High.
Under NCAA rules, Kaepernick can still play summer ball in the minor leagues before the college football season begins in the fall.
Baseball scouts know what Kaepernick can do on the mound. He can throw a fastball above the 90-mph mark and his 6-foot-6 frame is very appealing. He earned all-Stanislaus District honors in 2006 after setting a school-record tying nine wins during his 9-2 senior season with a 1.27 ERA while helping guide the Pride to the Sac-Joaquin Section title game against Elk Grove High. That was the season they had one of the better pitching staffs in school history, as now-Cal State Stanislaus ace Spencer Snodgrass and Kaepernick were the top two pitchers and Bradin Hagens — now playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks organization — held down the No. 3 position.
It’s not uncommon for MLB teams to select players who compete in another sport. Pro scouts keep tabs of players during high school and unlike basketball and football, baseball teams are granted more selections and like to ideally grab prospects as early as possible and groom them into professionals through their various minor league affiliations.
Therefore, Kaepernick wasn’t the only football player picked during the baseball draft. Teammate and freshman quarterback Mason Magleby of Del Oro High in Loomis was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round.
And don’t forget Pat White, a promising quarterback from West Virginia who was a second-round selection by the Miami Dolphins in the 2009 NFL Draft. The New York Yankees picked him in the 48th round, just in case he had a change of heart.
Kaepernick is committed to football, but at least he has something to fall back on.
“They loved size and because he’s someone who can throw the ball 90-plus,” Tate said. “He proved in high school he was a power pitcher, but he had other pitches as well. He could’ve gotten a baseball scholarship, but his goal wasn’t baseball.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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