Dayton Dugas is looking at two paths for his next baseball step and both feel like great options.
Like a a select few talented high school seniors, he has college coaches reinforcing a desire to see him in uniform. Professional scouts tempt him with the lure of big money and baseball at the highest level.
Tough choice, assuming the Major League Baseball Draft, starting June 8, plays out as anticipated for Dugas, an outfielder from Sam Houston High in Lake Charles, La. He signed with Wichita State last fall. He is, however, likely the biggest draft risk in the recruiting class.
“Either way, I’m going to be in good hands,” Dugas said.
Dugas talks to WSU coach Todd Butler and assistant Brian Walker often. He went to Dallas to watch two games of WSU’s series with Dallas Baptist earlier this month. Butler visited him in Louisiana earlier this spring. Their pitch to Dugas is that if things don’t go exceedingly well in the draft, spend three seasons at WSU and improve.
“I completely trust (Butler) on everything he says,” Dugas said. “He knows what he’s doing and I’ll never doubt that, which is the main reason why Wichita State is where I committed to. ”
While realizing that things change as the draft approaches, Dugas said he believes there is a chance he could go in the first three rounds. MLB.com ranks him No. 142 on its list of prospects and lists athletic ability and power as his top assets.
“We don’t have a (bonus) number yet, but I’m most likely 120-percent sure that if it’s past the third round I’m probably not signing,” he said. “That’s why it’s really good shot that I’ll make it to Wichita, which is really exciting because I know that I’ll really mature there. I’ll play my three years there, go to Omaha a few times and continue my career and I’ll be perfectly good with that.”
Dugas (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) participated in a scouting showcase in Tulsa last week, with many big-league general managers and scouts present at ONEOK Field. On Saturday, he was scheduled to work out in San Diego for the Padres and will do the same in Houston for the Astros on June 6.
Dugas said he hit .425 with five home runs and four triples for Sam Houston this spring, earning all-district honors. He improved his approach at the plate and adjusted to pitchers throwing him off-speed pitches and working around him, strategies that made his junior season a bit of a disappointment.
“I bounced back from last year and really put it together and did what I needed to do,” he said. “I was hurt my freshman and sophomore year. Junior year was actually … my first actual season of high school baseball. I helped the team out, but I felt like I had a lot more to give.”
On the list — Basketball recruiting for the class of 2016 is in full swing with the summer’s biggest evaluation periods coming in July.
Indianapolis Arsenal Technical guard C.J. Walker recently included WSU on his list of seven schools that he is considering in a Twitter message. Last month, he told the Indianapolis Star that WSU coach Gregg Marshall sees him as a replacement for Fred VanVleet.
On Twitter, Walker (6-foot, 180 pounds) said that Butler, Florida State, Xavier, Pittsburgh, Missouri and Illinois are also on his list. He announced visits to Xavier (June 7), Florida State (June 18) and Butler (June 26) on his Twitter account.
Rivals.com ranks Walker a three-star recruit and No. 148 in the class of 2016.
Worth noting — Former WSU women’s basketball player Alex Harden played in both exhibition games for the Phoenix Mercury last week, scoring two points in both games. Andover Central’s Tiffany Bias is also a member of the Mercury and played in the split with the Seattle Storm. The Mercury took Harden in the second round of the WNBA Draft in April. … Former WSU basketball player Ria’n Holland has signed with Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College. … Kord Ferguson, one of the nation’s best throwers at Ottawa High, is transferring to Alabama, according to WSU track and field coach Steve Rainbolt. Ferguson redshirted this year as a freshman. He holds the Kansas Class 4A meet records in the discus (206 feet, 2 inches) and the shot put (64-7 1/2). … Shocker Fitness’ summer session continues until Aug. 3. Cost is $55 for the 10-week session. For information call 316-978-5543.
P Reagan Biechler, Wisconsin Woodchucks (Northwoods League)
INF Jordan Boyer, Kansas Cannons (Walter Johnson)
OF Josh DeBacker, Winter Park Diamond Dogs (Florida Collegiate)
OF Keenan Eaton, Wisconsin Woodchucks (Northwoods)
OF Bret Fehr, Kansas Cannons (Walter Johnson)
P Taylor Goshen, Wisconsin Woodchucks (Northwoods)
P Tyler Jones, Wilmington Sharks (Coastal Plains)
INF Tanner Kirk, Wareham Gateman (Cape Cod)
INF Chase Rader, Wellington Heat (Jayhawk)
C Taylor Sanagorski, Derby Twins (Jayhawk)
P Chandler Sanburn, Holly Springs Salamanders (Coastal Plains)
C Gunnar Troutwine, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Alaska)
P Cody Tyler, Wilmington Sharks (Coastal Plains)
OF Travis Young, Derby Twins (Jayhawk)
1B Alex Van Pelt, Kansas Cannons (Walter Johnson)