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Shaq Thompson, Baseball and Football: How Does That Work?


Shaq Thompson was drafted in the 18th round by the Boston Red Sox and according to the Sac Bee, he plans to sign.

Typically, this would mean that the recruit would bail on the school they planned to attend and fully jump into the minor league baseball system. Dylan Cozens an Arizona recruit (that almost picked UW) is expected to forgo school for baseball. However, Thompson plans to do both.

How does that work?

There are a few athletes that have done it but it is rare because most often a team will require you to go all in or all out. Jake Locker signed with the Angels farm system over the summer of 2009 but found his way back to UW by football season. Russell Wilson, Brandon Weeden, Chris Weinke, are a few others that played minor league baseball before or during their college football career.

Bob Condotta mentions in an article from February that one of the main reasons Thompson picked UW was that they allowed him to play baseball too:

"That UW was willing to let Thompson play baseball helped seal the deal.“UW has already given us 8-10 weeks (per summer) in the minor leagues,” said B.T. Thompson, an uncle and father figure to Shaquille."

8-10 weeks gives Thomspon time to play minor league ball and even decide where baseball ranks in the long run for his career choice. Does he ultimately want to be a major league baseball player or an NFL player? That time in the minor leagues could help him decide. He loves both sports according to the Sac Bee.

Reading into the Sac Bee article, he isn’t terribly good offensively at baseball. He has lots of potential in that department but struggles with strikeouts. His real strength is on defense, roaming the outfield like a line-backer or a….safety. Go figure.