Tyler Ybarra, a left-handed pitcher for the Wellington Crusaders for the past two seasons, is anxiously awaiting the First Year Baseball Draft for Major League Baseball. According to Ybarra, the Wellington native is likely to be drafted in the 10th round.
Tyler Ybarra, a left-handed pitcher for the Wellington Crusaders for the past two seasons, is anxiously awaiting the First Year Baseball Draft for Major League Baseball to be held June 5-6.
According to Ybarra, and confirmed by his athletic advisor Kevin Hubbard, the Wellington native is likely to be drafted in the 10th round.
That should allow him to negotiate a signing bonus anywhere between $75,000 to $150,000, Hubbard said.
His starting salary thereafter is likely to be $1,100 a month when he starts Rookie League ball.
Ybarra will be the first Wellington High School player to get drafted since Wellington’s Nate Cornejo was drafted in a sandwich round between the first and second round for the Detroit Tigers in 1998.
Clocked with stunning fast-ball speed, Hubbard said, Ybarra has caught the attention of MLB scouts. At a workout in Oklahoma City earlier this month during the Big 12 baseball tournament, Ybarra threw a fast ball at 93 mph.
"Tyler is a talented kid with a great arm," Hubbard said, who works for Gaylord Sports Managment, out of Scottsdale, Ariz. "His arm is loose and he has a great feel for the change up.
"His curve ball can use some work, but I think with some proper instruction we can get him to throw it the way we want him to throw it."
Hubbard said consistency is Ybarra's biggest problem, something that is no secret in Wellington and one that Ybarra readily admits. He's often compared to the wild pitcher of Ebby "Nuke" LaLoosh, a character played by Tim Robbins in the movie Bull Durham.
But as with LaLoosh, it's all about the development. It's not about the way Ybarra throws now, but the way he'll throw five or 10 years from now.
Ybarra is expected to be listed as a top prospect for the state of Kansas by baseballamerica.com and a scouting report on the Web site is expected to come out this week. He was not listed as a top 200 prospects by the site.
Hubbard said from his home in Denton, Texas he originally hoped Ybarra could have been drafted in the fifth round, but because control was an issue, he now appears destined for around the 10th. The 30 MLB teams will draft 50 rounds over a two-day period.
The difference in signing bonuses between the fifth and 10th round is quite a bit.
In 2006, according to figures accumulated by angelfire.com, the average signing bonus ranged from $150,000 to $210,000
A 10th-rounder in 2006 signed between $10,000 for one player and $150,000 for another.
Ybarra said he doesn't know which team is likely to draft him.
"I have no clue," he said from his home Thursday. "I've been contacted by a majority of the teams, but to say who I'm going to end up with, I have no idea."
Ybarra recently signed a letter of intent with Hutchinson Community College this spring. He said he will wait until after the draft to determine whether he'll go the college route or plunge into a pro career.
"Obviously a lot of things are up in the air right now," Ybarra said.
Ybarra is the son of Jesse and Melissa Ybarra. His dad, was a standout baseball player in the mid-80s at Wellington and was drafted by the MLB. However, a shoulder injury sidelined him.
The younger Ybarra had always wanted to accomplish what his dad was unable to do and he tried out for the White Sox last summer in Oklahoma. It was there that he and his left-handed 90 mph fast ball caught the eyes of MLB scouts.
He was invited to play in the Area Code Baseball Games in Long Beach, Calif. last August, That was a two-day event and included top prospects from teams like the White Sox, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees.
He pitched for two innings and shut down the lineup. His stock amongst scouts rose.
This spring, Ybarra had five starts and the scouts came in droves especially when he was home at Hibbs-Hooten field.
The results were mixed.
Ybarra ended up 2-2 for the season in six games pitched. His ERA was 2.818 in 28.67 innings pitched.
He put up some impressive numbers with wins over Andover Central and Kingman.
But not so impressive against Clearwater and Andale.
The Clearwater game was disastrous in that he allowed 10 walks in five innings pitched, although he allowed just one hit.
For the season he allowed 16 hits and 25 walks, while striking out 40.
Hubbard said Kansas is at a disadvantage over other states, especially those in the south, in that the high school season is so compact — starting in late March and ending in late May.
"Tyler really didn't have much of a chance to showcase his talent," Hubbard said. "By the time basketball season ended, there really wasn't a lot of time to get his arm fully ready."
Nevertheless, Ybarra's dreams of playing in the Major League continues. And the next chapter begins Friday.
"It's a good feeling knowing you have people who are interested in you," Ybarra said. "But I'm also having nervous anticipation."