FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Hard work is about to pay off for a former Sulphur Springs Wildcat.
Colby Suggs, junior co-captain of the Razorback baseball team, will one of hundreds of players who are eligible to be drafted in the Major League Baseball amateur draft Thursday through Saturday.
Houston has the first overall pick, the draft starts at 7 p.m. Thursday.
“I’m excited and anxious about the baseball draft. It is really out of my hands now. I have proven what I can do,” Suggs said in a phone interview.
Suggs, has been using a 95-mph fastball to fashion a successful career as a relief pitcher for the Hogs.
This year, the 6-foot, 225-pound right-hander set a school record with 13 saves. He had a 1.74 earned run average, striking out 29 in 20.2 innings. Opposing batters posted a .139 batting average against him.
“The scouts tell me they like my work ethic. My bulldog mentality,” Suggs said. “They know I am a problem-solver, not a person who will cause problems. They like my mentality about the game. I have been in leadership roles and I always try to help the team win.”
The Razorbacks finished the year 39-22 losing in the regional tournament after making a long run in the College World Series in 2012.
“Pitching at Arkansas has been a great honor. People up here treat you like their son if you are on the baseball team,” Suggs said. “The coaches here have been great in my three years. They always believed in me. They helped me a lot especially when I was a freshman. They stayed with me even through injuries. I enjoyed picking their brain about the game, because they have so much knowledge.”
Arkansas is expected to have several players taken in the draft. School officials said Suggs could go in the second or third round. He was ranked as the No. 79-best prospect by MLB.com
“I feel really positive about the draft. The scouts don’t really tell you which team or where you will be picked. But several teams have interest,” Suggs said. “I want to go help a team and progress to the next level.”
Suggs added, “I love being from Sulphur Springs and my friends and family keep me grounded. My family is just as excited about the draft as I am. My parents (Joe and Kerry Suggs) were sad when I pitched my last game at Arkansas. But I have to move on and take the next step. My whole family is excited for me. The support I have is awesome.”
Suggs, 21, said he is a junior and several semesters short of a degree. He changed his major from kinesiology to communications.
He has aspirations of one day working in sports radio or ESPN. But that is down the road. Hopefully many years after Thursday’s first year baseball player draft.
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