As Michigan gets set to kick off spring practice later this month, one of its offensive starters was getting in a little work in an entirely different sport recently.
As he hadn’t played the sport for a couple of years, some heads were turned when U-M quarterback Shea Patterson was drafted in the 39th round of the June Major League Baseball Draft by the Texas Rangers. Nearly a month later, he signed a 2019 contract with the baseball organization that would allow him to play for the team after his football eligibility expires next season; in late July of last year, prior to the start of the Wolverines’ summer camp, Patterson worked out with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Patterson got some additional stick-and-ball work in recently as the football signal-caller and baseball infielder spent six days earlier this month working out at spring practice with the same Triple-A affiliate.
“He gets to be down here around our guys and our coaches, and see our process,” Texas Rangers farm director Matt Blood told the Star-Telegram. “It’s always good to be able to get some baseball activity and scratch that itch, but I think it’s more about him coming and seeing what it’s like to be a Ranger and a professional baseball player.
“And for our guys it’s great to have him. He’s got a really good mentality and makeup, and he helps our guys, too. He’s looked good. He’s out there, he’s giving really good effort, he’s a good athlete, and he’s having a great time being here.”
Patterson, entering his final season of collegiate eligibility, could have a Kyler Murray-like decision to make early next year, although it’s widely expected Patterson will follow the Heisman Trophy winner’s lead and make himself available for the NFL draft instead of embarking on a professional baseball career full-time.
The Wolverines open spring football practice March 17, and Patterson will be there as the returning starter under center.