Sports

Pondering the pros: Mount Si High alumnus Tim Proudfoot weighs Oakland A’s baseball offer

Mount Si grad and Texas Tech shortstop Tim Proudfoot throws during practice in Lubbock, Texas. Proudfoot was a recent draft pick by the Oakland Athletics pro organization. - Courtesy photo
Mount Si grad and Texas Tech shortstop Tim Proudfoot throws during practice in Lubbock, Texas. Proudfoot was a recent draft pick by the Oakland Athletics pro organization.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Tim Proudfoot seems different from his high school days.

He wears his hair longer, and has put 30 pounds of muscle on his frame. He plays the game of baseball a little differently now.

“I think I’m a lot more patient at the plate,” he said, talking to the Record by phone from Lubbock, Texas.

Stronger, speedier and more mature, Proudfoot, a 2011 Mount Si graduate and shortstop for the Texas Tech University Red Raiders, will need these strengths if he accepts an offer to go pro. He is the third ex-Mount Si baseball player in school history to be selected in the draft.

Proudfoot was picked in the 21st round of the 2014 Major League Baseball first-year player draft by the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, June 7.

When he arrived on a starting shortstop scholarship at Lubbock, Proudfoot, now 21, had to adjust to the speed of college-level play.

“That was a big transition as a freshman.” Even as an all-Kingco player his senior year at Mount Si, and with experience as shortstop on Mount Si’s state-championship-winning 2010 baseball team, Proudfoot noticed the difference.

But, “after three years, it’s definitely slowed,” he said. Now, he’s doing his best to give nothing away at the plate, while keeping his mind and body sharp on the field.

Today, Proudfoot’s fully focused on the NCAA Big 12 men’s College World Series baseball tournament, which began this weekend in Omaha, Neb. The Red Raiders are making their first appearance in the series, and face Texas Christian University in their first game on Sunday, June 15.

Two other Mount Si baseball players have been drafted to the pros.

Josh Kimborowicz, a 2010 graduate, was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization in 2013.

Catcher Josh Hamik graduated from Mount Si High School in the late 1980s, attending Washington State University on an athletic scholarship. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Proudfoot was the third Red Raider drafted this year, following junior left-handed pitcher Chris Sadberry, who went in the sixth round to Miami, and junior catcher Hunter Redman, who went in the eighth round to the Dodgers.

The draft selection came as a surprise to Proudfoot and his family. But he’s all business.

“You always hope you’re in it,” says Proudfoot. “You never really know until your name is called.

“It’s awesome that it happened,” he said. “I’m not thinking about it until we’re done playing.”

The A’s have farm teams in California, Vermont, Texas, Wisconsin and Arizona, but Proudfoot doesn’t yet know where the A’s would send him.

His parents are thrilled and excited about what’s ahead for Tim.

“He’s wanted this since he was little,” said Tim’s mom, Jody Proudfoot. “It’s kind of like a dream come true....You’re taking a gamble. You’re taking a chance. You might go higher, you might not. It’s a good problem to have.”

Right now, Tim’s game plan is to finish his college season, then weigh his prospects with the A’s offer and whether he should finish his degree.

“Talk to me when the season is over,” he said. “That’s when I’ll make my decision.”

He’s working on a general studies degree encompassing wildlife management, sociology and mass communication.

Although he has three years under his belt, don’t consider Proudfoot a Texan just yet.

“It’s awesome down here, but I’m a Washingtonian,” he said.

It’s the biggest year Texas Tech’s Red Raiders have had in school history.

“Top of the conference, it’s been an awesome experience,” Proudfoot said. “I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”

He became the first Red Raider shortstop to earn All-Big 12 first team status since 2005, while batting .317 (44-for-139) this season with 26 runs, five doubles and 19 RBIs in 41 games. Proudfoot recently recorded his 500th career assist. He’s just the second Tech player to do that over the past decade.

“Tim has done a really nice job for us not only defensively but at the plate this season,” said Red Raiders head coach Tim Tadlock. “He has done a great job working at getting better every day.”

Proudfoot started all but two of 49 games this season as shortstop.

In fact, Proudfoot has played shortstop for as far back as he can remember, Little League and beyond. His mom still has fun memories of those early days.

He’s not so much a vocal player—“When I was a little kid, I used to be the most annoying” one, hollering every play—rather than a leader by example.

Winning the College World Series is Proudfoot’s main job right now.

“I’m taking practice one day at a time, not overthinking it,” he said. Tomorrow, we’ll see.

• You can follow Tim Proudfoot and the Red Raiders at www.texastech.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/text-ncaa-basebl-14.html.

 

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