Jamie Potts, drafted by Texas Rangers, may have to give up last year of college football to play pro baseball

By Steve Gunn
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – Jamie Potts really wants to play his final year of football at Grand Valley State University.LSJ Logo incert

But the lure of a professional baseball career may prove to be too much for Potts to pass up.

Potts, an All-American in both baseball and football at GVSU, was chosen by the Texas Rangers in the 31st round of the Major League Baseball draft on Thursday.

Jamie Potts

Jamie Potts

He said he was contacted by a Rangers official yesterday, who told him the team intended to convert him from the outfield to first base.

“I was in my apartment just kind of watching TV, and they gave me a call and told me they drafted me,” Potts told Local Sports Journal after playing a game with the Muskegon Clippers baseball club on Wednesday.

“I don’t think it’s really set in yet. I’ve obviously come a long way since my days at Oakridge. It seems kind of surreal.”

Potts said he expected to be chosen in the later rounds, because high school players and younger college players are prioritized in the draft by Major League clubs, he said.

“I figured I would get chosen later than the 20th round and I was right,” he said. “It was still exciting to be drafted.”

Now comes the big question – will he stay or will he go?

Potts worked out for the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 5, and said it went very well. One memorable highlight was taking batting practice from legendary Tiger shortstop and former manager Alan Trammell.

He said the Tigers called him before the draft, expressing their interest in selecting him. But he said the team also asked if he intended to play his final year of football at GVSU, and he told them he hoped to if possible.

Obviously, the Tigers did not select Potts in the draft. He’s now waiting to talk to the Rangers about the possibility of signing a contract and playing minor league baseball for them this summer, then playing football for GVSU this fall.

He thinks the Rangers may have the same concerns as the Tigers and object to that idea. At that point, Potts would have a decision to make.

Will he sign with the Rangers, even if it means no football this fall?

““We’ll see,” said Potts, a wide receiver in football who still has a year of eligibility because he redshirted as a freshman. “Not a lot of people get that opportunity (to play pro baseball). It would be hard for me to say no.

“It’s going to be a hard decision. The best scenario would be if they let me play football, but obviously, they are going to be concerned about injuries.”

In the meantime, Potts said he plans to play three games for the Clippers at Marsh Field this weekend while he mulls his options. The team has a single game scheduled for Friday and a doubleheader slated for Saturday.

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