Niles West’s Kevin Ross: Player of the Year
Niles West's Kevin Ross throws to first base for the out during a sectional game against Maine South. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:23AM
Kevin Ross is a wanted man these days.
Ever since exploding onto the national radar last summer during the Area Code Games, the Niles West graduate can’t seem to do any wrong.
Now fully recovered from a thumb injury just prior to the playoffs, Ross is in the Atlanta area for the next several days for the Perfect Game tournament with the Chi-town Cream.
Off the field, a big decision hangs over his head.
The shortstop has until July 15 to decide between playing at the University of Michigan or signing a professional contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who drafted him in the eighth round last month.
“Still don’t know,” he said last week.
Ross did offer some insight into what ultimately is driving his decision.
“Money,” he said. “If I get the money that I want, I will be playing for (the Pirates) for sure.”
He’s being advised by Jeff Borris of the Beverly Hills Sports Council in California, and Ross is using his full scholarship at Michigan as leverage in negotiations.
“It’s been hard, but I want to make the right decision,” Ross said.
Ross did everything right during his senior season with the Wolves. He batted .427 and had an on-base percentage of .528. He hit 16 doubles, drove in 20 runs and scored 32. He also stole 30 bases.
One area Ross is looking to improve this offseason is his defensive range.
“That’s a big thing,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of work on the field and also some drills off it.”
Once it returns from Atlanta, the Cream will compete in other amateur tournaments this summer.
The question remains: Will Ross?
The Pioneer Press All-Area teams are selected by our reporting staffs, in consultation with area coaches and other experts.