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June 12, 1996 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-06-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


SPORTS Wednesday,June12,1996-- The Michigan Daily
Texas Rangers draft Blue shortstop in 4th round

-11

James Goldstein
aily Sports Editor
A phone call never had so much
eaning.
Michigan shortstop Kelly Dransfeldt
aited Thursday in his Morris, Ill.
ome for one important phone call. He
aited and waited and waited - hop-
to get the call that every collegiate
high school
aseball player
reams of as a kid.
The call up to the
ajors.j
He got it.r
Dransfeldt was
rafted by the Texas
angers in the fourth
ound of the Major
eague Baseball
ateur Draft Dransfeldt
rsday.
The junior was the 113th overall pick
f the draft and was the first player cho-
en from the Big Ten. Illinois'
onference Player of the Year Josh
limek was chosen in the 10th round
283rd pick).
But being drafted wouldn't have
eant a thing had something else not
a pened - the actual signing with
major league organization.
Dransfeldt was drafted before. After
is senior year of high school, he was
elected by the Minnesota Twins in the
eventh round of the 1993 draft. But he
asn't signed by the club.
This time, the transaction was com-
pleted. Dransfeldt signed and worked

out a contract with the Hudson Valley
Renegades, a single-A minor league
club shared by the Texas Rangers and
one of the newest expansion teams, the
Tampa Bay Stingrays.
The Stingrays will have several play-
ers on the Renegades this year as part of
a shared player-development contract
with the Rangers. Tampa Bay will take
complete control of the single-A club
next year.
This season's 76-game schedule gets
underway June 18.
Dransfeldt heads to Fishkill, NY
tomorrow, where he will join the club
managed by Bump Wills - an ex-
major league player and son of
Brooklyn Dodger great Maury Wills.
On draft day, Dransfeldt was sitting
home with his family and friends at his
side. They constantly shouted, "This is
the one, this is the one," after the phone
rang, but it was only other friends call-
ing to find out if he had heard yet.
Then after hours of holding his
breath, Dransfeldt got a call from the
Texas Ranger area scout, who had pre-
viously seen the shortstop play in sever-
al games at Ann Arbor.
This was the one.
"It definitely was a sigh of relief,"
Dransfeldt said. "It feels like I made
the right choice coming out of high
school. I definitely proved myself."
Many of Dransfeldt's teammates
called to congratulate their everyday-
shortstop. Dransfeldt tried to reach
Wolverines' coach Geoff Zahn, but the
skipper is in California.
Dransfeldt - winner of the

Michigan squad's Most Valuable Player
Award - definitely proved himself
with his all-around play. His 6-foot-3
frame moved fluidly in the field, accu-
rately throwing darts to first base in one
smooth motion.
His .341 batting average ranked third
for the Wolverines in 1996. He led
Michigan with nine home runs, 43
runs, 27 walks, 1 I stolen bases and 163
assists, and was second on the team
with 34 RBI.
The shortstop was also a large part in
the Wolverines' ascent to the confer-
ence tournament playoffs for the sec-
ond time in three years. Michigan was
eliminated early with losses to Penn
State and Illinois.
Texas chose Dransfeldt as its first
position player of its draft and told him
he would be the shortstop for the
Renegades.
The draft, which consists of both col-
legiate and high school players, keeps
going until the teams decide to stop
picking.
If all goes well, Dransfeldt could be
invited to an instructional league held
during next year's spring training, effec-
tively ending his career as a Wolverine.
If all goes well, he could be in the
real major leagues in a few years.
"This is what I worked my whole life
for and it came true," Dransfeldt said.
"One of my goals in high school was to
play college ball and one of my goals in
college was to play pro ball.
"It's here - the next level - and I
am just going to take it one step at a
time."

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