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Baseball

Ex-Rebel knows he can wait

By BOB PUTNAM
Published June 9, 2004

Jesse Litsch chose not to follow the second day of the draft.

Instead, the former Dixie Hollins High standout spent Tuesday standing in line at the Clerk of Courts office to get his passport, which was required of the South Florida Community College pitcher before heading to China to play in the Friendship Games.

While at the office, Litsch received a call from teammate Andy Polk, who was following the draft online and told Litsch he was drafted in the 24th round by the Blue Jays.

"That was kind of a shock," Litsch said. "I had never talked to Toronto before. I just said, "Hmm. That's interesting."'

Litsch was picked as a draft-and-follow, a rule that allows clubs to maintain exclusive signing rights of a drafted player until a week before the next draft if he attends junior college.

It is a process Litsch knows well.

Last season, Litsch was chosen in the 37th round by the Rockies. He elected to go to South Florida Community College, and the Rockies decided to keep him under their control as a draft-and-follow.

The Rockies tried to keep him, offering a bonus between $45,000 and $60,000 two weeks before the draft. Litsch declined.

After failing on their first attempt, the Rockies tried again. Litsch said the team called and was going to take him in the 10th round if he accepted a $60,000 bonus.

Litsch passed on the offer.

"I'm well-versed in how the draft-and-follow works," he said. "We'll see how it goes with Toronto."

[Last modified June 9, 2004, 01:00:39]


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