Former Lawrence High standout baseball player Nick DeBiasse says packing his life into a suitcase today will be difficult for two reasons.
For one, he doesn’t know where he’s headed.
And for two, he’ll be wondering in the back of his mind what’s going on in the Major League Baseball Draft, where he’s expected to be taken either today or Wednesday.
“There’s parts of me that want to just sit around and wait (to be picked),” DeBiasse said,” but at the same time, I think for the sake of my sanity and everything else, I’ll try to just do something to keep me busy.”
Though he’s talked to some scouts, the Central Missouri senior first baseman doesn’t have much of a feel for where he’ll be selected.
He’s filled out questionnaires for about a dozen MLB teams that had their regional scouts come to watch him.
“I would be thrilled to just be taken, really,” DeBiasse said.
Last season, DeBiasse won his conference’s player of the year honors after hitting .457 with nine home runs, 57 RBIs and a .552 on-base percentage. He also was chosen as a Division II second-team All-American and helped lead the Mules to the College World Series.
Though DeBiasse has displayed power in college, he sees himself more as a player who can consistently hit line drives.
“I feel like I’m a pretty complete hitter,” DeBiasse said. “I can hit early in the count, late in the count, and I can hit to all fields.”
DeBiasse, who transferred to Central Missouri after spending two seasons at Rice University, also hit .407 his junior season with 17 homers, 78 RBIs and a .520 on-base percentage.
“My last two years, I think you can kind of see that I’ll provide some consistency at the plate — a guy who can not only get on base, but also drive in guys,” DeBiasse said. “I think that’s probably my biggest asset.”
Another advantage for a team taking DeBiasse will be his signability. He admittedly doesn’t have much leverage as a graduated senior, as he can’t threaten to return to school if an MLB team doesn’t meet his demands.
“I would think I would rank pretty well in that category, because I don’t think I’ve expressed anything that would turn teams off,” DeBiasse said. “I’m really just looking for the opportunity to continue playing.”
So which teams could DeBiasse possibly end up with?
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound infielder went to a workout last week with the Philadelphia Phillies, who seemed interested. During the workout, DeBiasse and about 40 other prospects were timed for 60-yard dash times before going through fielding drills and taking batting practice.
Another intriguing option for DeBiasse could be the Houston Astros — a team that was bought by former Central Missouri pitcher Jim Crane last month.
Crane, a Houston businessman, watched Central Missouri’s games in the MIAA tournament in Kansas City, Kan., and spoke to the team afterwards. He also attended the Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C., bringing along some Astros executives with him.
“He’s personally had the chance to see me play for a couple years,” DeBiasse said. “I haven’t been in contact with too many other scouts or anything, but I’m sure if he put in a good word for me, I suppose that couldn’t hurt.”
DeBiasse, who was the valedictorian of his class at Lawrence High and also second-team All-State his senior year, said he is in Lawrence for a few days after moving back from Warrensburg, Mo.
He won’t be here long. Depending on the team that drafts him, DeBiasse could be sent to a minor-league city as soon as this week.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to get a chance to play professionally,” DeBiasse said. “That’s a dream of every kid, I think, is to get a chance to play at the highest level.
“Now that I’m actually having that opportunity, it’s pretty surreal.”