By Dave Wagner
Recent Clovis High graduate Jason Seefeld has a full-ride baseball scholarship to the University of Arizona for next year, but he’ll be keeping an eye on this week’s first-year player draft, which starts today.
Seefeld, the Wildcats’ shortstop for most of his high school career and their closer on the mound the last two seasons, is taking a wait-and-see approach to the draft.
“About 18 (big league) teams have contacted me throughout the year,” Seefeld said Sunday from Albuquerque as he and Wildcats teammate Richard Urban prepared for today’s 4 p.m. New Mexico All-Star Classic at Isotopes Park. “A couple of teams (the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets) came down to Bell Park to watch me work out.”
The draft is scheduled for 50 rounds and could last through Wednesday. Seefeld said he has no idea where he might go.
“I’ve heard a lot of things,” he said. “I’m not sure. I could go early or I could go late.
“The big thing is seeing what round I get drafted. It’s going to have to be a pretty good deal for me to turn down Arizona.”
CHS head coach Shane Shallenberger and assistant coach Brian Cronk were both drafted in college. Cronk spent parts of two seasons in the lower minors with the Pittsburgh Pirates after two years in junior college at Glendale (Ariz.) and one year at Eastern New Mexico University.
“The organizations seem to really want to take more chances on younger (high school) kids” as opposed to college players, Cronk said. “If he gets drafted, it’ll be a great opportunity. Whether or not he’ll sign is something that remains to be seen.
“If he gets drafted, he’ll make a decision based on what’s best for Jason.”
Seefeld could be in for a position change next year, no matter which way he goes.
“All the (pro) teams have talked to me about playing shortstop or third base,” he said. “That’s (third base) where they think I’ll eventually wind up.”
Arizona, meantime, is losing its third baseman and second baseman this year to graduation, Seefeld said, while the team’s shortstop will be a sophomore. Seefeld said he could see time at either third or second for the Tucson-based Wildcats.
Arizona has one of the better baseball programs at the NCAA Division I level. On Sunday, the Wildcats advanced to the super regionals (round of 16) with a 7-6 victory over host Notre Dame in regional competition at South Bend, Ind.