Finally in the 44th round he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
“I expected to be drafted in the 10th round and to sign right away and start playing pro ball,” Leyland said. “I didn’t expect to be playing here this year. I went into this year expecting the draft to go my way. I didn’t have an awful year, but it was not the year I was hoping for, and playing mostly at DH didn’t help me.”
Although he said he was “devastated” about the draft, he was not discouraged. “It has been a frustrating year, but that’s part of this sport. You learn to deal with failure. It’s a failing sport. If you go three for 10, you make millions,” he said.
Leyland would have liked to have signed with Tampa Bay, but they told him they wanted him to play the year out. “I have not gotten an offer yet. They told me they want to follow my summer. Then I’ll weigh out my options and choose what’s best for me when August 15 rolls around,” he said.
Chris Perez spoke with Matt Rice and Raymond Church about the transition to professional baseball:
"In college, you had class and you played, probably, four games a week, so it wasn't every single day. That's been the biggest adjustment, both physically and mentally," said catcher Matt Rice, who was drafted in the ninth round out of Western Kentucky University.
For second baseman, Raymond Church, resting and eating healthier has prepared him for his new full-time job. "I actually changed my eating habits a little bit," the 26th-round selection out of Florida Atlantic said. "I make sure I get breakfast every morning just so my body is prepared, because the biggest thing is to make sure your body is ready to go day in and day out."
Moves: 1B Travis Flores was activated by the GCL Rays; RHRP Marquis Fleming assigned to Montgomery from Durham; OF Desmond Jennings recalled to Tampa; SS Reid Brignac optioned to Durham.
Oscar Watch: Hernandez went one for three with a double on Friday. His hitting streak is now at nine games.
Unsigned Draft Pick Watch: Chris Burgess, a sophomore from Blackhawk College (JC), was the Rays 30th round pick in June. He pitched this summer for the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League. Over 29.2 innngs he posted a 4.85 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 13 walks. His last appearance was June 28th and he was listed as 'waived' on June 29th according to the league transactions page. Usually when a draft pick is 'waived' or 'released' from his summer league team it means he is signing within a few days, but there is still no word on Burgess.
Web Watch: Jim's Claw Digest now includes coverage of the Gulf Coast League Rays in addition to the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
Hot: Michael Jarman, left-handed reliever, Charlotte Stone Crabs. Over his last 12 appearances he's allowed one run in 24.2 innings for a 0.36 ERA.
Not: Cesar Perez, third baseman, GCL Rays. On the season he's 6 for 77 with no extra-base hits, four walks, and 24 strikeouts. Triple-slash of .078/.123/.078.
Trivia: Lee University is a small-college powerhouse, with five straight 50-win seasons and NAIA College World Series appearances. Name the two former Flames in the Rays organization.
Stat 'O The Day: Total bases.
Batter Team(s) AB H 2B 3B HR SLG TB Stephen Vogt* MTG 374 112 21 5 13 .487 182 Daniel Mayora MTG/DHM 352 105 23 5 9 .469 165 Russ Canzler DHM 328 97 28 1 12 .497 163 Derek Dietrich* BWG 315 92 21 3 13 .502 158 Brandon Guyer DHM 308 96 22 2 11 .503 155 Desmond Jennings DHM 338 93 19 3 12 .456 154 Oscar Hernandez VSL 200 81 12 1 19 .760 152 Phillip Wunderlich* BWG 340 94 22 0 12 .447 152 Greg Sexton CHA/MTG 348 103 25 2 6 .431 150 Leslie Anderson* DHM 340 95 16 0 12 .432 147 Hak-Ju Lee* CHA 329 107 11 9 3 .441 145 Tyler Bortnick CHA 335 99 21 5 3 .415 139 Tim Beckham MTG 354 96 20 2 6 .390 138 Henry Wrigley MTG 307 81 26 2 9 .450 138 Cody Rogers* BWG 333 81 13 6 10 .408 136 John Shelby MTG 303 76 15 4 12 .446 135
Hint #1: Hat is incorrect.
Hint #2: Born in Venezuela.
Hint #3: Drafted by the Seattle Mariners.
Hint #4: Attended the University of Miami.