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4 Bears drafted in MLB

Aug. 23, 2004

Sutton highest Bear picked in 15th round

By ASHLEY DAWN SHEPPARD, contributor

Baylor's baseball team had four players drafted into the Major League Baseball system after the 2004 season.

"I'm happy when any of our guys get the opportunity to continue to play baseball," head Coach Steve Smith said.

The Kansas City Royals drafted Baylor graduate Zane Carlson in the 27th round.

He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2003 but decided to turn down their offer and finish his degree.

Right now, Carlson is a relief pitcher for the minor league team the Idaho Falls Chukars.

In Carlson's opinion, the minor leagues aren't as much of a team effort as college baseball.

Carlson and his team will finish the season in September and he hopes to sign with the Royals and start playing baseball again in February.

Jared Theodorakos signed with the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2004 draft. The Brewers retained the rights to sign him before the draft.

Smith said since Theodorakos was a fifth-year senior, he had the option of signing with the Brewers who drafted him the 25th round in 2003.

"Jared and Zane are rare because both guys have college degrees," Smith said.

Junior Drew Sutton came to Baylor in fall 2003. Sutton said he chose Baylor "because of its great traditions of producing major league players."

The Houston Astros drafted the Jackson, Tenn., native in the 15th round.

Sutton is playing on the rookie team of the Astros' minor league affiliate.

"It's been an easier transition from college ball to the minors because I'm playing with guys I already know," Sutton said.

The rigorous schedule of the minor leagues requires 76 games in 79 days.

For Sutton, the best thing about playing in the minors is "getting up and playing baseball every day."

Sutton said he hopes to sign a seven-year contract with the Astros in the next couple of years. He will not return in the fall.

"Drew didn't finish his degree, so he'll have a difficult decision later on whether to continue playing baseball or going back to college to finish his degree," Smith said. "Jared and Zane will be able to play as long as they want to play."

The Chicago Cubs drafted senior Trey Taylor in the 20th round.

"I'm disappointed about being drafted in the 20th round," Taylor said.

He is playing as the starting pitcher for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod summer league.

Smith said he doesn't anticipate Taylor signing with the Cubs. Taylor has until the first day of classes to make his decision.

The Colorado Rockies drafted him directly out of Mansfield High School in 2001, but he decided he wanted a college degree.

Sports editor Catherine Brown contributed to this story.