LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas Tech expects to lose three of its four drafted players to Major League Baseball in the coming days, according to head coach Dan Spencer. Although thousands are drafted each year in the two-day event, not all of the baseball players selected make the leap to the league.
Kelby Tomlinson, drafted in the 12th round by the San Francisco Giants, played shortstop for the Red Raiders this season and recorded a .309-batting average, 43 RBI on 67 hits, and 21 stolen bases. Spencer expects Tomlinson to sign with the Giants in the next few days.
"I'm assuming if the Giants took him [in the 12th round], they thought they could sign him," the Red Raider skipper told reporters Wednesday morning. "I do think [the contract negotiations] won't drag out, Kelby's not that kind of kid—he's going to say 'yes' or 'no' and it's going to be done in three or four days."
Senior infielder Nick Popsecu was the second Tech player drafted—in the 33rd round by the Atlanta Braves. Popescu leaves the Red Raiders after a hitting .299 with 32 RBI and 27 runs this season. "Pops" tied the Tech all-time record for hits during a Big 12 tournament game(4), is one of four Red Raiders with double-digit steals this season(10), and is the third infielder to be drafted during Spencer's tenure.
Also expected not to return to the team next season is redshirt-junior relief pitcher Zach Fowler. The left-hander was picked by the Baltimore Orioles in the 34th round. Fowler pitched 13 scoreless innings(all in relief appearances) with a 3.68 ERA, and the Texarkana native was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
"It's a great opportunity for Zach, we'll miss him not having him here, but I think the timing, and for him, he probably needs to sign where he's at in his career," said Spencer.
Fowler needs only 16 credit hours to graduate from Texas Tech University.
Junior third baseman Reid Redman was the fourth Red Raider drafted, by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 37th round, but is expected to return to the team this fall.