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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kansas baseball has 4 players drafted

Tony Thompson was taken first in the sixth round by the Oakland Athletics.

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Kansas University second baseman Robby Price had seen enough.

After tracking Day 2 of major-league baseball’s amateur draft for what seemed like hours, Price, a senior who was watching intently in anticipation of hearing his name called, finally threw in the towel at the end of Round 12.

“When Round 13 came, I was just like, ‘I’m over it,’ and I went in and lay on the couch,” Price said. “I was watching TV when my dad (KU coach Ritch Price) called me to congratulate me, and I had to stop him because I didn’t even know which team it was.”

That team was the Tampa Bay Rays, who made Price the 401st overall pick in this year’s draft in Round 14.

“(It was) just a proud moment for me, knowing that I did it,” Price said. “Following my brothers and getting a chance to play under my dad and learn the game from him. It was just a great moment.”

Price was solid throughout his Kansas career, finishing in the top 10 in career games played (232), at-bats (847), hits (261), runs (204), triples (12) and walks (139). He also is the career leader in sacrifice bunts (55) and leaves KU with a career fielding percentage of .979, the result of just 22 errors in 1,003 chances.

Price is the third member of his family taken in the major-league draft this decade. Older brothers Ritchie (New York Mets, 2006) and Ryne (San Francisco Giants, 2008) were taken after their senior years at Kansas.

“I didn’t want to be known as the kid in the family that couldn’t get drafted,” Price said. “As soon as my name got popped, it was just a great moment for me personally.”

Joining Price in this year’s draft were junior third baseman Tony Thompson (Oakland, sixth round), relief pitcher Brett Bochy (San Francisco, 20th round) and starting pitcher Cameron Selik (Washington, 22nd round).

Thompson, who missed the first two weeks of the 2010 season because of a knee injury, did not see his draft stock suffer as much as anticipated. He was tapped No. 185 overall and became the first Jayhawk since Brandon O’Neal in 2000 (No. 170 overall) to be selected as high as the sixth round.

“The reality is, he slipped a couple of rounds because of his injury,” Ritch Price said. “But I still think he got picked by a really good club that has a history of promoting college guys through their system.”

Thompson, a junior from Reno, Nev., hit .338 with 10 doubles, six homers and 38 RBIs in 40 games this season. He ranks second in school history with 32 home runs, is fourth in career slugging percentage (.581) and in the top 15 in career RBIs (138).

Bochy, a junior right-hander from Poway, Calif., was snagged with the 618th pick. He went 2-0 for the Jayhawks in 12 relief appearances this season, finishing with a 0.78 earned-run-average and a team-high five saves. He underwent Tommy John surgery on April 8 and missed the final two months of the season.

Bochy’s father, Bruce Bochy, is the manager of the San Francisco Giants.

Selik, a senior righty from San Diego, was the 656th player taken. Selik went 6-4 in 15 starts for the Jayhawks this season, finishing with a 5.06 ERA and 72 strikeouts. He won his first four starts of the season, becoming the first KU pitcher to achieve such a feat since Pete Smart opened with six straight victories in 2000.

This year’s draft concludes today.

Comments

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 10 months ago

i'm selfish i know, but i don't want Thompson and Bochy to sign. of course, if they're already dealing with agents, then it's a done deal...but i'd love to see them back at KU.

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