There was a point in Johnny Manziel’s college career when he considered forging a path as Johnny Baseball instead of Johnny Football.
Obviously, the football option worked out better for the now-Cleveland Browns quarterback, but — thanks to the Padres — the door hasn’t completely shut on Manziel’s baseball career.
The Texas A&M product, who was selected by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL Draft, was also selected Saturday by San Diego in the 28th round of the First-Year Player Draft, with the 837th overall pick.
It all became official when Eddie Ciafardini, the Padres’ assistant to the scouting director, leaned in to the phone in front of him and said the following:
The Padres select Draft ID 7165 Manziel, Johnny, a shortstop from Texas A&M University.
Manziel took to Twitter to express his gratitude to the Padres.
“Big thank you to the Padres and [team president] Mike Dee for selecting me in the MLB draft. What a great day!
The Padres have no expectation that Manziel will sign, but felt it was worth a shot anyway.
“I would say in the near future, it’s probably unlikely,” Dee said of the team’s chances of signing Manziel. “But if he ever put on a Padres’ uniform, it would be great. Who knows what the future holds? You never know.”
A Rangers fan growing up, Manziel was a middle infielder at Tivy High School (Kerrville, Texas) before forgoing his baseball career in favor of football. He played baseball through his junior year, but he skipped out on his senior season so he could graduate early and focus on preparing for his freshman football season at Texas A&M.
“You know, I heard he’s a good player,” said Padres manager Bud Black. “I heard he was a good high school baseball player. I think he’s a middle infielder. You can always use middle infielders. In most cases, they’re the most athletic players on the diamond. Usually they go to the outfield or stay in the middle.”
Source: MLB News