(Captip to Zach Levine for the link)
Jordan Lyles tops Baseball America's Hot Sheet this week, with an interesting note about what he might have been doing instead:
Had Lyles taken South Carolina's offer to play wide receiver for the Gamecocks, he still wouldn't be eligible for the yesterday's NFL draft for another year. Before the 2008 draft, Lyles considered taking that scholarship to play Division I football until the Astros took him in the supplemental first round. Many in the industry wondered why the Astros took him so early. Even Lyles was surprised.
Today it's clear that Lyles and the Astros made the right choice. Still just a teenager, Lyles skipped high Class A Lancaster and hasn't had any trouble adjusting to Double-A, as his 2.30 ERA and 16-2 K-BB mark in 15 2/3 innings shows. At 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Lyles' athleticism helps him repeat his fluid delivery, which bodes well for his command and his durability. That advanced command for his age of three solid pitches has helped Lyles quickly sweep through the minor leagues, and he could reach the big leagues before his 21st birthday.