Release Granted To Shepherd

Outfielder Devin Shepherd, the No. 11 prospect in the freshman class entering the season, is no longer a member of the Oklahoma baseball team. The team clarified Shepherd’s situation today with this release:

The University of Oklahoma has granted a release to Devin Shepherd, formerly a member of the Sooner baseball team.

“It was in everyone’s best interest to grant this release,” said OU baseball coach Sunny Golloway. “We wish Devin and his family nothing but the best.”

Shepherd, who batted .235/.348/.287 with one home run in 115 at-bats this spring, was the Twins’ fifth-round pick out of Oxnard (Calif.) High last year. From conversations with Shepherd and his family, it’s likely his next move could be to play for a junior college team and re-enter the draft in 2008. With his athleticism and five-tool package, Shepherd could be drafted in the first few rounds if he capitalizes on his fresh start.

It’s been a rough year for highly touted freshmen. The No. 1 and No. 4 ranked prospects in the class entering the season, South Carolina’s Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Fuller, were kicked off the team in late March after being charged with grand larceny and burglary. No. 2 ranked Sean Black of Seton Hall, the highest drafted player to attend school this year, has struggled, going 3-3, 5.77. And No. 14 Charles Brewer, a righthander for UCLA, missed most of the season with mononucleosis and arm soreness before making his season debut this past weekend.