Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dodgers' Draft Pick Happy Not To Volunteer

The Knoxville News-Sentinel did a profile piece today on Matt Kirkland, the Dodgers' 12th-round draft pick and recent signee, who is spurning the University of Tennessee (and a career selling livestock) to join the Dodgers' system:

Nevertheless, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound third baseman wasn't a professional yet. The Knoxville product was still a University of Tennessee signee who, with his powerful swing and dependable glove, had caught the Dodgers' eye in workouts.

Kirkland's life eventually took an alternate route Monday night when the former South-Doyle High School standout signed his contract with the Dodgers.

He will leave Wednesday to begin his minor league career in either Utah or Arizona. He'll find out which locale today, he said.

"It's the real world now," said Kirkland. "I've never had to clock in to work. I've kind of had my own little (livestock) business going. Now, I'm actually clocking in Wednesday for my new job.

"It's a thrill. My family is excited. The community is excited. I got a lot of support. I think it's good for the community. I plan to represent my family and community as best as possible."

That he bypassed playing for Tennessee to turn professional came as no shock. Kirkland spoke on his draft day about how he was ready to start his days in the minor leagues.

Then, he thought a deal would be ironed out in a matter of days.

That timeline extended only marginally to ensure all financial numbers appeased both parties. Kirkland didn't disclose those figures.

"Let's just say, the deal I got, it beats selling goats and chickens for a living," he said. "That was my business. It beats selling livestock."

That it does, young Mr. Kirkland. That it does.

photo: Amy Smotherman Burgess


Fred's Brim said...

never underestimate the power of a goat. just ask a Cubs fan

karina said...

Like this kid a lot, good luck!