After mulling over the decision, Northwestern’s Zach Risedorf has decided to sign with the San Diego Padres, who took him in the sixth round of the MLB Draft on Friday, and forgo playing at UConn next season.
Risedorf can’t sign or leave to go to any Padres affiliate until he graduates high school. Northwestern holds graduation on June 18.
A couple of days after he graduates he will head to the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona, the spring training home of the San Diego Padres.
The decision wasn’t easy.
“If I don’t sign, I go to a great school, play for great coaches and get a great education,” he said. “If I do sign, I get to play professional baseball. It’s a good problem to have.”
With the knowledge that he was going to get drafted, coming into the draft, Risedorf and his family had already discussed what he would do.
“We had been talking about it for a couple of weeks, I knew I would get drafted, but I didn’t know when,” Risedorf said. “We weighed the pros and cons, my mom did a bunch of research into it.”
It also helped that he went in the top 200 players taken, 177th overall.
“It’s a dream come true, the biggest reason is because I was drafted so high,” he added. “If I went in the 15th or the 16th round, I would have gone to UConn, but I went so high it felt too big to pass up.”
As for his contract or the terms, he will find out when he flies out to Peoria, but according to Baseball America the slotted value of the 177th pick is $249,400, but that doesn’t mean he will get that amount, he could get more or less. You can view entire scale of the top 10 rounds here.
He also said his family is now Padres fans and his mom is going to out buy the family hats.
Risedorf said he will start in instructional league.
This season Risedorf hit .485 with 33 hits, six home runs, 19 RBI scored 31 runs, two doubles and two triples, while being one of the best defensive catchers in the Berkshire League, helping the Highlanders to the second round of the Class M state tournament.