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Archive for Thursday, June 11, 1992

KANSAS SURVIVES DRAFT

June 11, 1992

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Kansas University's baseball team has not been dismantled by the major leagues.

"I still wake up in the morning and say, `It could all disappear today,''' Jayhawk coach Dave Bingham said. "But I think we held it all together."

Just one player off last year's team pitcher Curtis Schmidt was selected in last week's 50-round draft of amateur players.

Schmidt, who had used up his collegiate eligibility, has signed with the Montreal Expos and will soon report to Jamestown, N.Y., the Expos' short-season Class A team in the New York-Penn League.

"It's a good assignment for him," Bingham said. "There are mostly former college players in that league."

KU seniors-to-be Jeff Berblinger, Jim Walker, Jeff Niemeier and John Wuycheck were not drafted.

"THEY MADE a commitment to continue their education and play for us. I think that kept them out of the draft. If they said they'd sign for $10,000, they'd be gone right now," Bingham said. "This year, it was a draft of signability. Teams went for signable guys at the right price."

Three incoming Jayhawk freshmen were taken. Pitcher Jamie Splittorff of Blue Springs, Mo., was selected by the Royals in the 25th round. Pitcher Clay Baird of Carthage, Mo., was tabbed by the Mets in the 44th round. And outfielder Jim Brewer of Bismarck, N.D., was a 32nd-round pick of the Dodgers.

None of the three have signed big-league contracts yet.

"Education is important to the kids we signed," Bingham said, noting he believed the three would choose college.

Splittorff's dad, Paul, is a former member of the Royals.

"If the control situation holds up," Bingham said of a new rule that ties incoming freshmen to teams through five years, "Kansas City is the team (the Splittorffs) would want to have in that position."

UNLIKE SPLITTORFF, Baird and Brewer have yet to talk contract with their teams.

"I talked to him and he assured us he'll be a Jayhawk," Bingham said of Baird.

Of Brewer, Bingham said: "I'm the least sure of him. I'm more comfortable with Jamie and Clay. He's just beginning to talk to the Dodgers. These kids are all in strong academic standing. I hoped the strong academic standards of Kansas would work for us. If a degree is important, strong education works (in recruiting)."

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