Yarrow elects to stay in school, turns down Rockies
Area baseball fans were probably surprised and disappointed that Stephen Yarrow’s name didn’t pop up in the first 30 rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft.
Despite being contacted by three franchises on Tuesday, the former South Tahoe High baseball remained true to his predraft guidelines and goals and turned down several opportunities.
The University of San Francisco junior third baseman indicated that a team needed to offer him a $150,000 signing bonus plus pay the cost of finishing his college education in order to sign him.
The Colorado Rockies came the closest in the 10th round, tendering an offer of $75,000 and an undisclosed sum to finish college.
But Yarrow respectfully rejected the offer.
“I knew this was one of the risks. A lot of kids are eager to sign after their junior years, but I wasn’t because the value of my education is a lot,” Yarrow said.
Yarrow, a West Coast Conference first-team infielder who hit a conference-leading 16 homers, was also contacted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 12th round and the Seattle Mariners in the 16th round.
“It’s all about signability,” Yarrow said. “They need to be able to sign certain picks. The scouts tell their bosses which ones they are able to sign, which ones want to go out and play right now so they can fill up their minor league rosters.”
Yarrow said he could have accepted the Rockies’ offer, then held out for more money, but deception isn’t part of his character.
“I couldn’t back out of a deal. His job is on the line,” Yarrow said. “As much as I wanted to be drafted, I couldn’t tell him I going to go for $75,000, then tell him (later) that I needed $125,000 or $150,000.”
Yarrow, 21, was trying to become the first South Shore baseball player since pitcher Greg Bruso was taken by the Giants in the 16th round of the 2002 draft.
The 50-round draft ends Wednesday, and Yarrow doesn’t expect to be taken. He knows he will be headed back to play his senior season for the Dons and try his luck at next year’s draft.
“It’s bittersweet. I get one more season with a coaching staff that I’m very comfortable with. I’m very excited about going back,” Yarrow said.
“The whole (Dons’) coaching staff only wanted what was best for me. They weren’t trying to keep me in school like a lot of coaches do.”