Wake Up a College Ball Player, Go To Sleep a Major Leaguer

By Virginia Breen

Jun 10, 2009 5:34pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Nadine Maeser blogs:

It's a whole new ball game for three college athletes. Stephen Strasburg, Dustin Ackley and Donavan Tate woke up Tuesday morning as college baseball players and went to bed Tuesday evening with the opportunity of a lifetime—an offer to join Major League Baseball.

It's no surprise to see Strasburg, a junior, as the number one pick by the Washington Nationals.  The right-handed pitcher from San Diego State is known for a fastball that has been clocked as high as 103 mph. Strasburg is San Diego State's seventh player to be selected in the opening round in school history. 

More importantly, he is the first to be taken as a number one pick, which will add to his long list of accolades, including being named 2008's USA Baseball Player of the Year, First-Team Louisville Slugger All-American, Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year, and First-Team All-America (just to name a few).
  
But Strasburg isn't the only one looking to slide into a new "home" plate.  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's outfielder, Dustin Ackley, was offered a spot by the Seattle Mariners.  Ackley, also a junior, was pick number two.  But Ackley has his work cut out for him.  Along with an offer to join the MLB, Ackley is headed to Omaha, N.B., with the Tar Heels to play in the College World Series this weekend. 
UNC beat East Carolina twice in the Super Regional’s to earn their spot in the series. UNC is placed in Bracket 2 of the series along with Texas, Arizona State University, and Southern Mississippi.  This marks Carolina's fourth consecutive appearance in the College World Series. 

And last but not least is Donavan Tate.  Tate, who is among some of the youngest draft picks, holds the number three pick of the MLB draft with an offer from the San Diego Padres. The Carterville High School outfielder signed a football scholarship with North Carolina but has not confirmed whether he will play football or baseball.

The Major League Baseball teams have their work cut out for them.  Now that they have made their picks, it is time for the teams to negotiate with their prospective players.  These top three picks, along with the other players, will have to make “cents” of the best decision to make for their futures—mentally, physically, academically and financially.

The draft is not over.  The suspense of the MLB draft prefaces the start of the long awaited College World Series, to be held June 13-20 in Omaha, Neb.  The players in the Series will have to put their decision-making on hold until championships are over. 

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