Brewers put an end to Boyd's worries
By JOHN C. COTEY
© St. Petersburg Times,
The last time Daniel Boyd was drafted by the major leagues, he was a fresh-faced high school senior at Pasco in 1997, and one so interested in the draft that he spent the day playing golf.
The second time proved to be a little more nerve-wracking. Sitting at home Wednesday with his computer linked to Major League Baseball's live audio broadcast of the draft, Boyd listened in as the rounds passed by: 20, 21, 22, 23 ...
Finally, he heard what he was waiting for. In the 27th round, the Milwaukee Brewers selected the former Pirates star.
Five minutes later, the Brewers called and confirmed the pick with Boyd, who just completed his senior season at South Florida.
"Yeah, I was definitely a little more nervous," Boyd said. "Like today, not very many college seniors were getting drafted. When I was listening to rounds 21 to the 24th, I started noticing it was mostly pitchers and they were coming from high school. That's when I started worrying a little bit."
His worries were assuaged when his long wait ended. Boyd said being drafted, albeit for the second time, fulfilled a lifelong dream.
"I'm real excited; this is what I've been working for," Boyd said. "It's going to be fun just to have a new atmosphere, just to experience the wooden bat and see the pitching."
Boyd was picked in the 22nd round by Minnesota as a senior after leading Pasco to the Class 4A state championship game. The Pirates went 27-8 that season, a school record for wins, and he was named Sunshine Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Boyd was also the Times All-North Suncoast Player of the Year after going 9-2 with a 2.30 ERA while batting .440 with 11 homers and 41 RBI.
In college, Boyd, who is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, kept up that same hitting pace with remarkably consistent numbers. In four seasons, he hit 13, 10, 12 and 12 home runs respectively, and drove in 56, 50, 55 and 48 runs while compiling a .330 career average.
Even so, he was drafted later than he was as a high-schooler.
"I think it just shows how the draft has changed over the past 4 to 5 years," Boyd said. "It seemed like when I was in high school and a few years before my senior year, it wasn't a big deal. You usually went to college to improve your status. It doesn't seem like that's the case. I guess if they offer you the money out of high school, you should probably go ahead and take it.
"But I'm happy with the decision I made."
Boyd said he needs to complete a one-semester internship to receive his degree in environmental science.
He also fought through some adversity, overcoming an arm injury in 1999, a severe case of food poisoning this spring and a car accident that totalled his vehicle and required more than 50 stitches. "After all that, this kind of ends the year on a good note," he said.
"I'm definitely more mature as a baseball player."
Though he pitched and played almost every position at Pasco and started his USF career as an infielder, Boyd played rightfield this season for the Bulls and expects the Brewers will also use him there. Boyd said Milwaukee scout Tom McNamara was going to call him late Wednesday, most likely to discuss money and where he would be assigned.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111