By John Manuel and Blair Lovern
January 17, 2002
For Clemson redshirt senior Patrick Boyd, perhaps the third time is the charm.
The Texas Rangers and the center fielder, represented by Scott Boras, have reached agreement on Boyd’s first professional contract. Boyd signed to a package worth a reported $600,000, including a $300,000 signing bonus, and the contract has other incentives reportedly tied to roster and service time.
Texas picked Boyd in the seventh round of last year’s draft, a break thanks to the good relationship between Boras and the Rangers, owned by Tom Hicks. It was the third time he had been drafted. He was the Mariners’ second-round pick in 1997 out of Central Catholic High in Clearwater, Fla., but didn’t sign.
Instead he went to Clemson, where his career started on the right foot with two excellent seasons. He batted .344-8-59 to earn Freshman All-America honors, then hit a scorching .390-17-70 and stole 20 bases as a sophomore, earning second-team All-America accolades.
Boyd injured his thumb during the summer of 1999, cutting his Cape Cod League season short, and he struggled terribly after the injury with the Tigers in 2000. He batted just .293-3-49, though he stole 18 bases and Clemson went to the College World Series.
Drafted in the fourth round by the Pirates that June, Boyd joined Team USA for the summer while Boras and the Pirates negotiated. The two sides never came to an agreement, and Boyd went back to school for his senior season, only to get hurt again. This time, it was a back injury diagnosed as a cracked vertebra. Boyd got only three at-bats and applied for a medical redshirt to keep his options open.
Last fall, Boyd trained at Clemson five days a week to strengthen his back. “I’m going to play baseball next season,” he told the Anderson (S.C.) Independent. “I just don’t know where.”
Prior to the deal, Bob Brower, who works for the Boras Corporation, said Boyd went to Arlington over the weekend for a workout with the Rangers. “We just went to open up discussions with them again, and for them to get a look at Patrick,” Brower said.
Jan. 16 was the last day Boyd could register for classes at Clemson, and Boyd did not enroll.