While baseball is my first sports love and I can never give it up, football is pretty close to my heart as well. I can’t deny that the upcoming NFL season has distracted me a bit (though the Royals playing for fourth place isn’t exactly a picnic to watch anyway). On top of drafting three fantasy teams that are ready to demonstrate greatness all season, my Kansas Jayhawks just upset #17 Georgia Tech.
So yeah, I have a little football fever. But baseball continues.
Then again, the Royals seem to have a little football fever too, as they signed former West Virginia quarterback and 44th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft Pat White to a minor league contract yesterday.
White, who turns 25 next February, will play in the outfield in the minors. The Angels spent a fourth round draft pick on him in 2004 out of high school and many scouts thought he could be a pitcher or outfielder if he chose baseball. He’s also been drafted by the Angels again (26th round in 2007) and also by the Red and Yankees (in the 49th round in 2008 and 2009 respectively).
As a quarterback at WVU, White adopted an athletic, scrambling style that led the Mountaineers to four bowl victories but it was unclear how he’d play in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins selected him in the second round and despite the thought that he may have to change positions to running back or wide receiver, they kept him at quarterback before releasing him when 2010 rosters cut down to 53.
And now he’s going to give baseball a try.
With a 4.5 second time in the 40 yard dash and a 35 inch vertical jump, White clearly has speed and athleticism to play a rangy outfield, and will likely be a threat to steal bases.
White led his high school team to two state championships in Alabama as a pitcher and outfielder as a 2nd team All-American according to Baseball America. He hit .487 and slugged .971 for Daphne High School.
The Royals signed him with the knowledge that he may give football a try in the future and have stated they’ll be flexible if that decision is made. There hasn’t been any mention of where White will be assigned, but Wilmington’s a good bet for him to start out.