MLB Stars Reflect on Almost Attending ASU

Each year, elite college baseball signees have a choice to make: head to their school of choice or try their hand at the professional ranks. 

The Arizona State baseball team has been no stranger to walking the tight-rope of adding sure-fire talent to their team that may never actually make it to Tempe. From taking over ASU’s program in 1995 to his resignation in 2009, Pat Murphy attempted to strike a balance knowing his elite commits may never play for him.

Early on in his tenure, Jimmy Rollins committed to ASU but couldn’t pass up his second round selection from the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2002, Prince Fielder and Jon Lester made their pledge to the Sun Devils. But the Brewers had other plans for Fielder, drafting him with the No. 7 overall pick and Lester was selected in the second round by the Boston Red Sox.

The 2008 & 2009 classes took it to the a new level. Nolan Arenado, Eric Hosmer and Brad Hand signed with ASU and were a part of classes that already featured Major League players Deven Marrero, Brady Rodgers, Jake Barrett, Austin Barnes and Kole Calhoun.

But professional baseball was too enticing, and all three were selected in the first two rounds of their respective drafts.

In the case of Hosmer, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, his negotiations with the Kansas City Royals bled past the deadline to put pen to paper and required an extension for the Major League contract to be signed.

The trio has collectively earned 14 Gold Glove Awards and been named to 11 All-Star Games. 

The thought of adding those three to a roster already consistently heading to Omaha would certainly have made for some fun trips to the College World Series.

The trio, along with Murphy, break down ASU’s program at that time, how close they came to heading to Tempe and Murphy’s approach to building a college roster through Lifesaver candies in the video above.