After having been under the gun -- a radar gun -- all season, Illiana Christian grad Braden Kapteyn and St. Rita grad Tony Zych, a Monee resident, know they are in a good position going into today's Major League Baseball draft.
Kapteyn, a pitcher/third baseman, has committed to Kentucky, while Zych, a pitcher/second baseman, will attend Louisville. Both know, however, that their future signings depend on how high they are picked and the amount of money being offered.
"I think it is great because if I am not drafted high, I can go to college and play in the SEC," Kapteyn said. "If I do good there, then I can enhance my draft status.
"I am not giving a dollar amount, but the money has to be there for me to pass up college."
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Kapteyn was ranked by Prep Baseball Report as the No. 2 senior in Illinois this season. He led the Vikings with a .552 average, seven homers and 44 RBIs, and was 8-2 with a 0.99 ERA while striking out 93 in a 58 2/3 innings.
Players who do not sign pro contracts now must wait until they are 21 or have completed their junior seasons to do so. South Suburban College coach Steve Ruzich, who still does some scouting for major league teams, said both are top prospects.
"I think they will go pretty high," Ruzich said. "Kapteyn, he can play position or pitch. You can tell by his presence and his work ethic that he is a good player.
"Zych, the kid knows and loves the game. He works hard and did a good job getting his body ready in the offseason."
Like Kapteyn, Zych is excited. He knows he is in a good position.
"Like someone told me, the worst thing is I get a college education paid for, then I can be drafted again," Zych said. "It is a good situation. You don't know because I have been told I could go anywhere from the third to the 15th round."
The 6-2, 177-pound Zych, who hit .410 for the Mustangs and was 9-2 on the mound, is considered a four-star prospect by Baseball America. The top rating is five stars. Prep Baseball Report listed him as the No. 6 senior in Illinois.