Former Jayhawks Ink Pro Contracts
June 17, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Three former Jayhawks – third baseman Tony Thompson and pitchers Cameron Selik and Travis Blankenship – have all signed contracts with professional organizations in the last week and will likely begin their professional careers this weekend.
Thompson, a junior infielder from Reno, Nev., was drafted with the 185th overall pick by the Oakland A’s in this season’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. Thompson hit .338 with 10 doubles, six homers and 38 RBIs in 40 games. This came on the heels of an All-American season for Thompson, which saw him hit .389 with 21 homers, 82 RBIs and a .753 slugging percentage as a sophomore. He will begin his pro career with the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League.
Selik, a senior right-handed pitcher from San Diego, Calif., was taken with the 656th overall selection by the Washington Nationals in this year’s draft. He went 6-4 in 15 starts for the Jayhawks this season with a 5.06 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings. Selik earned wins in his first four starts of the season, becoming the first Kansas pitcher to accomplish this since Pete Smart opened the 2000 with six-straight wins. He will begin his professional career with the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League.
Blankenship, a left-handed pitcher from Lawrence, Kan., was drafted with the 933rd overall selection by the Houston Astros. He led the Jayhawks in appearances in each of the last two seasons, setting a school record in 2009, by pitching in 40 games, including 38 out of the bullpen. He went 1-5 this season with a 5.96 ERA in 34 games with a save and 51 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. He will begin his professional career with the Tri-City Valley Cats of the New York-Penn League.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play professional baseball,” Blankenship said. “It’s really a blessing to be here. I’m just going to work hard and see how long I can keep playing baseball.”
Four other Jayhawks: second baseman Robby Price (Tampa Bay), outfielder Brian Heere (Cleveland) and pitchers Brett Bochy (San Francisco) and T.J. Walz (Oakland) remain unsigned after being selected in this year’s draft. Bochy, Heere and Walz all have one year of college eligibility remaining and have the option of returning for a final season at Kansas should they not sign with the club that drafted them by Aug. 15.