Texas Tech receiver moonlights as minor league outfielder

first_img Published on August 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Bradley Marquez has no offseason.While most Texas Tech players spend their summers taking classes and training for the grueling Big 12 competition, the wide receiver Marquez trades in his shoulder pads and helmet for a bat and glove, and heads up to Kingsport, Tenn., to play baseball for the Kingsport Mets of the Rookie Appalachian League.For the last two summers, Marquez has moonlighted as a left fielder in the New York Mets organization.He was already committed to the Red Raiders when the Mets selected him in the 16th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball amateur draft. Unable to decide between the stardom of playing big-time college football or entering the uncertain and tumultuous path toward the Major Leagues, Marquez chose both.“I was young, just coming out of high school, not really knowing exactly what my future held,” Marquez said. “At that time I didn’t know what my calling was, whether it’d be baseball or football. I love both sports. They’re two different games, but I do them both. I wasn’t ready to choose.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile the option remained open for Marquez to play baseball at TTU, he chose to tackle the professional ranks. The Mets organization would pay for his scholarship, and he would be committed to them from basically the day school ended up until the beginning of Texas Tech training camp each year.The Mets also rewarded him with a $350,000 signing bonus, but the contract stipulated that he would lose $250,000 if he didn’t commit himself to the Mets full time by Sept. 15, 2013.When the date for him to report to football training camp came this summer, Marquez packed up and returned to Lubbock, Texas, for his junior year.“It was something that weighed on me a lot,” Marquez said. “My family and me discussed some things. I hope it all works out for me. Obviously you don’t know that right now.”It had been working out for Marquez until he suffered a season-ending right knee injury midway through his sophomore season.In his freshman season, he caught 25 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown in 12 games, while developing into one of the team’s best kick returners. Before injuring his knee as a sophomore, he hauled in 16 receptions for 172 yards in six games.In Kingsport, the outfielder struggled early this season, but hit .306 with four doubles in his last 19 games. Kingsport manager José Leger said that even with the continued improvement, he believed that Marquez never had any intention of becoming a Met full-time following the 2013 season.“He was excited about the progress he had, but he really had his mind made up before he started the year with us,” Leger said. “I think it was a decision he was going to make no matter how well he was doing. That’s my feeling.”So the balancing act continues for Marquez. He said he has every intention of continuing his baseball career next summer, a decision that will force him to once again miss off-season training at Texas Tech. As a result he has to take an additional six credit hours during the football season.At Odessa High School in Odessa, Texas, playing two sports and getting his work done was not nearly as difficult for Marquez. Odessa football coach Ron King said that he took care of his business in the classroom and excelled at both baseball and football.And though King said he believes Marquez will be a more-than-capable professional athlete in whichever sport he chooses, he also thinks it might be in his best interest to make a selection.“Would I think it’d fit him if he just picked one sport over the other and applied to it? Well, yes, I do,” King said. “He’ll spend more time, he’ll have more training. But that’s his decision.”While some may infer that his decision to decline the signing bonus is an indication of his commitment toward a career in football, Marquez was adamant about his loyalty to the Mets.“I’m still playing baseball regardless,” Marquez said. “I’m still part of the organization. I just don’t get that other amount of money. It’s still doing both.”As it was the case when he was first drafted by the Mets coming out of high school, Marquez is still not ready to make a decision.“Obviously it’s a hard (decision), and maybe others would do differently,” Marquez said, “but it’s just the way that it is, and the wayI’m going to approach everything for the future.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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