The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston, is known in part for his baseball career as well, having been drafted out of high school and having played for Florida State’s baseball team.
Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman winner, doesn’t have as much baseball in his playing background, but he played on the team at Tivy High in Kerrville, Texas. And if he ever wants to play again, the Padres want him to play for them—and made it official Saturday by drafting the quarterback in the 28th round.
Manziel was drafted last month in the first round of the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) June 7, 2014
“Obviously we have seen him play football,” said Chad MacDonald, the Padres’ assistant general manager/player personnel. “If he ever wants to play again . . . ”
Manziel threw out the first pitch at a Padres game at Petco Park in May 2013 and took batting practice with the team as well. Maybe the Padres treated it as a workout, because MacDonald said the Padres do not have reports on file from high school that he was aware of. Manziel played at shortstop as a prep for his sophomore and junior seasons. (Manziel missed his senior season after enrolling early at Texas A&M.) That’s the position the Padres announced him as playing if he were to sign in baseball.
“There’s nobody running after you when you’re playing shortstop,” MacDonald said. “I can tell you nobody’s trying to knock you down while you’re trying to catch a baseball.
“You never know what will happen. We took him because he was the best athlete on the board, you could say.”
And in fact area scout Kevin Ellis of the Padres, reached via email, said he saw Manziel play in his junior season for one game at short, noting he was a “really good player.”
Manziel, listed at 5-foot-11 3/4, 207 pounds at the NFL combine, was noted for his throwing arm and power as a prep shortstop, according to numerous stories about him. In a 2012 timeline of his career, AggieSports.com reported Manziel considered playing baseball and football at Texas A&M and was offered the chance to do both by Oregon on a recruiting visit.
Manziel becomes the ninth Heisman Trophy winner drafted in the 50 years of baseball’s June draft. Of those, only Bo Jackson reached the major leagues, while Ricky Williams (during his college football career) and Chris Weinke (before his college football career) played pro baseball.
|Mike Garrett||1965||USC||Pirates (1965) 41st round, Dodgers (1966) 4th round|
|Johnny Rodgers||1972||Nebraska||Dodgers (1969) 38th round|
|Charles White||1979||USC||Astros (1977) 16th round|
|Bo Jackson||1985||Auburn||Yankees (1982) second round, Angels (1985) 20th round, Royals (1986) fourth round|
|Charlie Ward||1993||Florida State||Brewers (1993) 59th round, Yankees (1994) 18th round (played in NBA)|
|Ricky Williams||1995||Texas||Phillies (1995) eighth round|
|Chris Weinke||2000||Florida State||Blue Jays (1990) second round|
|Jameis Winston||2012||Florida State||Rangers (2012) 15th round|