Baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates pick Niles West shortstop Ross in eighth round
Niles West shortstop Kevin Ross, who committed to Michigan last year, was selected Tuesday by the Pirates in the MSL Draft. | Jon Durr~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 18, 2012 1:43PM
Even a fractured thumb and a scholarship offer to Michigan couldn’t keep the Pittsburgh Pirates away from recent Niles West graduate Kevin Ross.
On the second day of the MLB Draft, the Pirates selected Ross, a recent graduate of Niles West, in the eighth round with the 256th pick.
The Wolves shortstop was batting .438 when he hurt his thumb sliding into third base on Vernon Hills’ prescription turf in the final game of the regular season. He was limited to pinch-running and DH in the playoffs, which ended for Niles West with a 10-0 loss to Maine West in the Evanston sectional semifinals.
Ross played his first two years at Mather, then hit .436 with 30 RBI and 16 steals his junior season to earn a scholarship offer from Michigan.
Ross, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound shortstop, decided after his travel team, the Chi Town Cream, competed in Ann Arbor, and let Wolverines head coach Rich Maloney know last July he intended to play for the Wolverines.
“I did pretty well and I guess they liked what they saw. They made a good offer. I took the tour and liked what I saw,” Ross said.
University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois and Central Michigan also had shown interest.
Also last summer, Ross joined Team Illinois for the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.
Sean Duncan, publisher of Prep Baseball Report, said last summer Ross “has all the tools. He has plus arm strength across the diamond, registering at 88 at a recent Prep Baseball Report event. He also runs a 6.84 60, in addition to showing big power at the plate from the right side.”
The Pirates has the sole negotiating rights and must submit a written minor league contract to Ross within 15 days. They then have until July 15 to sign him.