SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Imagine What He Could Do If He Focuses Solely On Baseball

Usually kids who get drafted in the baseball draft after their junior years but who don't sign end up falling lower in the draft their senior year because they're a year older. That wasn't the case with Princeton's Will Venable, who, after being drafted in the 15th round by the Orioles a year ago, was drafted in the seventh round by the Padres yesterday. A rare two-sport star in Division I, Venable was a first-team all-Ivy baseball player this year (second-team all-Ivy in hoops) and was a first-team all-Ivy basketball player last year, when he led his team to the Ivy title.

Venable's the exception because he has a huge upside. He's big, he's fleet afoot, and he hits with power, and now, if he signs, he'll concentrate on baseball exclusively. He also has baseball in his genes (dad Max played in the Majors for the Giants and Reds, among others). There's no indication that he won't sign, although playing basketball overseas was mentioned as an option.

It's hard to predict which college kids will be make the majors. So many get signed, but so few actually make it. Even so, keep an eye on Will Venable. He has the tools.

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