Now that Kansas City has committed at least $5.25 million to the nation's No. 1 draft choice, Luke Hochevar, it is going to want the former University of Tennessee standout to do well when he starts his new life in their organization. You do not want your top young gun to stumble.
He was in Kansas City to sign his contract this weekend, reports to Arizona to train starting Monday, then heads off to Burlington, IA in the Midwest League to pitch. It stands to reason he should do well in Low A baseball after pitching effectively early this season in the American Association. He was 1-1 with a 2.38 earned run average in four Independent Baseball starts, pitching for Fort Worth, TX.
"Those hitters (American Association), they're older (than at Tennessee), they're experienced and they're a lot smarter," he said at the time, as we quoted in our June 8 Independent Baseball Insider column. He should find that the hitters, on average, were more advanced than those he will oppose in the Midwest League.
Hochevar also is ticketed for play this fall, including the prospect-loaded Arizona Fall League.
Meanwhile, the Royals have signed at least their third Atlantic League hurler of the season for their Triple-A Omaha farm club. Veteran major leaguer Pat Mahomes was taken off the Long Island, NY roster this week. Kansas City signed Brian Boehringer and Donovan Osborne from Bridgeport, CT earlier although Boehringer has moved on again. He now works for Detroit's top club at Toledo.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
AFTER INDY BASEBALL, HOCHEVAR SHOULD DO WELL IN MIDWEST LEAGUE
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.