Jan 19, 2011, 11:11 AM EDT
According to Jim Callis of Baseball America, Cubs prospect outfielder Matt Szczur has accepted a $1.5 million deal to stick with baseball rather than pursue a career in the NFL. The story was first reported by Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
Szczur originally signed for $100,000 after being drafted in the fifth round last June. The 21-year-old batted .347/.414/.465 over his first 116 professional plate appearances before returning to Villanova to play football for his senior year. As Callis notes, his initial contract would have secured him $500,000 if he made a written commitment before February 10, so the Cubs tripled their original offer in order to keep him.
Callis writes that Szczur “has a knack for barreling balls, which combined with his top-of-the-scale speed will allow him to hit for high averages.” His coach at Villanova Andy Talley called Szczur his fastest player ever, even ahead of former Eagles and current 49ers running back Brian Westbrook, so it’s easy to see why he was drawing some interest among NFL teams.
Baseball America recently ranked Szczur as the No. 7 prospect in the Cubs organization, but those rankings pre-dated the Matt Garza trade.
- Cubs activate Matt Garza for first start in 10 months 0
- Thanks to Jeff Loria, Miami gets shut out of the Super Bowl 19
- MLB is putting players in camouflage uniforms on Memorial Day. Which is kinda weird. 115
- And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights 64
- Alex Sanabia brings back the spitball in beating the Phillies 55
- MLB is putting players in camouflage uniforms on Memorial Day. Which is kinda weird. (115)
- Barry Bonds: Miguel Cabrera is the best … but not as good as me (99)
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights (92)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (81)
- Albert Pujols doesn’t matter anymore (73)
- Live Extra: Watch Sharks-Kings, Game 4
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- PHT: Bruins rally in third, put Rangers in 3-0 hole
- Durant pledges $1 million for tornado victims
- GTC: Garcia offers Tiger 'fried chicken' for dinner
- Andy Murray out of French Open due to back injury
- Golden Super Bowl to Bay Area; LI to Houston