Wichita State shortstop Tyler Grimes worked out in Kansas City, San Diego and Seattle after the season.
The Minnesota Twins played it quiet, not showing much interest in Grimes, a junior from North High, until Monday. On Tuesday, the Twins grabbed Grimes in the fifth round of the major-league baseball draft with the 178th pick overall.
"They said they were laying back a little back," Grimes said. "It's crazy how it works. Whenever Minnesota called me, deep down that's who I wanted. I want an organization that wants me, so I'm glad it was them."
Grimes' selection kicked off a busy day for WSU draftees. Seven current Shockers went in rounds 2-30. No recruits were taken. The draft ends today with rounds 31-50.
Two left-handers went quickly after Grimes.
Florida grabbed junior Charlie Lowell, the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year, in the sixth round. Detroit took sophomore Brian Flynn in the seventh round.
Junior catcher Chris O'Brien, the MVC Player of the Year and a finalist of the Johnny Bench Award, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 18th round. Texas selected junior reliever Chance Sossamon (0-1, 4.01 ERA) in the 21st round. Pitcher Mitch Mormann, a senior who redshirted in 2010 after transferring from LSU, went to Detroit in the 25th round. Milwaukee took junior lefty Josh Smith (7-4, 3.00) in the 26th round.
Grimes and Lowell want to sign quickly to start their minor-league careers. Flynn will pitch for the Rochester (Minn.) Honkers in the Northwoods League before getting serious about signing with the Tigers. With two years of eligibility, Flynn enjoys more leverage than most college players. He will pitch for his summer team in hopes of proving his slider is a big-time pitch and increase his bargaining power.
Grimes planned to celebrate by going to a Red Hots softball game to watch Madison, one of his four sisters. Tuesday's news came as a relief.
"It's been rough the past couple weeks, just not knowing what's going," he said. "Family is never going to go away. My sisters and my parents are everything for me."
Grimes hit .300 as a junior with a .420 slugging percentage and a .467 on-base percentage. He led WSU with 57 walks and 27 stolen bases. He was hit by a pitch 19 times in 2011, bringing his career total to 51, a WSU career record.
He hit five home runs and 10 doubles as a junior, batting leadoff most of the season.
Defensively, his quickness and powerful throwing arm make him an attractive pro prospect. However, Grimes (5-foot-10, 187 pounds) struggled for the much of the season, often trying to make spectacular plays that ended badly. He committed 30 errors, although his fielding and throwing improved in the season's final month. He went eight straight games without an error in May and committed two in his final 13 games.
Lowell, from Old Monroe, Mo., followed the draft on the Internet. He and Grimes texted back and forth, congratulating each other when teams called their names.
He likes how he fits in Florida's farm system.
"I think they're a little light on left-handed pitching, which is good for me," he said. "I should be able to progress pretty quickly."
Lowell (6-4, 245) went 10-5 with a 2.79 ERA as a junior. He struck out 124 in 103 1/3 innings.
Flynn passed the time in Kellyville, Okla., trying to find distractions. He mowed his grandmother's lawn Monday. On Tuesday, he followed along on the Internet with his phone close. He got off the phone with a representative from Kansas City when the Tigers grabbed him.
"It was real nerve-racking and I was very relieved," he said.
Flynn (6-8, 239), from Tulsa, went 6-4 with a 4.63 ERA.