Hobson, others eye MLB draft
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Appalachian State second baseman Wes Hobson grew up a big Atlanta Braves fan.
However, as the Major League Baseball draft goes on through Tuesday and Wednesday, Hobson would not reject an invitation to play for any of the Braves' rivals in the National League East Division.
Hobson figured he would not be picked in the first round, which was Monday night. He does have a chance to be picked Tuesday, which goes from the second through the 30th round. Rounds 31-50 and beyond are Wednesday.
Hobson said he would not watch the phone entirely on Tuesday, but will keep his cell phone close by just in case. He's a bit nervous, but is willing to be patient and wait for word of his selection.
"I'm not really nervous," Hobson said Tuesday morning. "It's kind of a feeling that I don't know what's going to happen. As far as nerves go, I'm just going to try to stay loose."
Hobson was a preseason All-American and did not disappoint. Mostly hitting second or third in the Mountaineers' order, Hobson led the Southern Conference in batting with a .404 average for players making more than 100 at-bats. He finished with 95 hits, 22 doubles, 11 home runs and 54 RBIs.
"The good thing for Wes is there have been a core of organizations who have liked him," Mountaineers coach Chris Pollard said. "They've seen him produce for two or three years and they feel he'd be a great senior sign. They know that they're going to be able to sign him and he's not a high-risk pick in the draft."
Playing on the next level has been a goal for Hobson his entire life.
"I've always wanted to play professional baseball," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. I've been excited about the next couple of days. I'll find out what happens in the next 48 hours."
Hobson is not the only Mountaineer who may get a phone call. ASU closer Chris Patterson, who set a team record with 13 saves and had an ERA of 1.67 in 29 appearances, could also be picked.
"There have been a dozen or more teams we have been in contact with throughout the season about him," Pollard said of Patterson.
Other ASU seniors, such as catcher-designated hitter Jerod Faggart (.313, 13 HRs, 46 RBIs), and starting pitcher Matt Andress (9-3, 82 strikeouts, 5.83 ERA) are also hopeful to get a call.
Appalachian State signee Austin Brice, a right-handed pitcher from Northwood High School in Pittsboro, could also be selected. Brice stands 6-foot-3 and can throw up to 94 miles-per-hour. Another possible signee who could be picked is Miami left-hander Lawrence Pardo, but he has indicated he will attend Appalachian State, according to Pollard.