This year at Arizona State, the baseball draft is more about who could be leaving, not the marquee players who had signed letters of intent.
Last year, ASU had signed three of the top seven draftees. Two of them signed bonuses for a combined $4.9 million. The third turned down $2.5 million and pitched this year at a junior college.
Coach Pat Murphy and the Sun Devils, fresh off an impressive run through the NCAA Tempe Regional last weekend, will now have their College World Series focus interrupted by the major league draft today and Wednesday.
Juniors Andre Ethier, Ryan Schroyer, Jeremy West and Rod Allen have varying perspectives on the draft.
Drafted in the 37th round out of Phoenix St. Mary's High School in 2001, Ethier is projected by Baseball America as a second- to fifth-round selection. Ditto for Schroyer.
West is not as highly rated, but he has had a strong season. Allen, a reserve who is sidelined with a broken wrist, is likely departing.
Murphy said Tuesday that of the 36 players on his roster, he anticipates losing 17 because of the draft, expired eligibility and transfers.
Baseball America said ASU will have 12 or 13 players drafted, Murphy estimates 14 or 15 current players will be taken.
"I get excited for our players getting drafted," he said.
Ethier is listed as the 93rd best prospect by Baseball America.
"I just want to get picked up," Ethier said. "I just want some team to give me a chance."
West will be curious to see what the scouts think of him since he was undrafted out of high school.
"It's more about the money," West said of whether he'll return. "We'll see what happens. I don't know if I can leave this program. (College) has been fun."
Schroyer said Sunday he'd spend "a couple days to myself" contemplating the draft before refocusing on third-ranked Cal State Fullerton.
He's hoping for good news.
"I don't want to get too geeked up," he said, acknowledging that he's ready to move on to the next phase of his baseball career. "It has to be good money, though."
After a standout freshman year, Baseball America in 2001 had Allen forecasted as the 36th best collegiate prospect for this year's draft. He's not being mentioned now because of a subpar season and his injury.
"If I'm not happy with the draft," he said, "I'll have to think about what to do."
Among the seniors, pitcher Beau Vaughn is drawing the most attention. Murphy predicts he'll be drafted in the top four rounds. As for the 27 players signed to letters of intent, Murphy said he may yet enroll two of his four highest-rated signees because one is ill and the other had arm problems this season.
Pitcher Ryan Smith of Enumclaw, Wash., who was Baseball America's preseason No. 14 prep prospect, has a liver disease. Albuquerque, N.M., pitcher Quentin Andes, No. 42 in the preseason, probably will have to allay concerns about his arm in college.
ASU also believes it has a shot at outfielder Colin Curtis of Sammamish, Wash. His stock has fallen but he believes he should be a high pick nonetheless. If he doesn't go as high as he wants he'll probably play for ASU.
Murphy said Pima Community College pitcher Tim Wood has already signed. Pitcher Patrick Bresnehan of Sherborn, Mass.; pitcher Jim West of Fort Mohave; catcher Brian Walker of Tulsa, Okla.; and third baseman Zech Zinicola of San Bernardino, Calif., are all expected to sign.
"We'll need about 17 kids to come in here," Murphy said.