LSU's Miles: Lee won't sign with Dodgers
Football coach says LA's first-round pick is going to college
LOS ANGELES -- Already, the Dodgers may have lost their top pick from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.Louisiana State University football coach Les Miles said on Tuesday that Zach Lee, a quarterback recruit and right-handed pitcher whom the Dodgers on Monday took at No. 28 overall, had enrolled in summer school and was not planning to break his commitment to the university.
"Zach wants to come to LSU, get a degree and play football and baseball for the Tigers," Miles said in a statement published on the school's athletics website on Tuesday. "I met with Zach and his parents today, and I think that they are looking at LSU as a great opportunity both academically and athletically."Zach is an outstanding student, and he's excited about the college experience." Dodgers assistant general manager of scouting Logan White said late Tuesday night that the team took Lee with every intention of signing him. "If I come out and I tell you we want to sign this player, we're going to make every effort to sign this player," White said. "He may not sign with any team. But it was, certainly with his talent level, it would be very tough for us to pass on that chance, to take that chance to get it done." White said he had the full support of Dodgers chairman Frank McCourt to go after Lee, and that that the team didn't take him to not sign him and save money. "Frank was totally supportive," said White, who hadn't had a chance to speak to Lee since Tuesday's news broke. "If he chose not to go after Zachary, it's understandable. The thing to me, I think it shows how tremendously supportive he is allowing us to go after to this player, knowing that people might say if we don't sign him, we took him to not sign him. Which I think is very unfair." The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Lee was considered to be a difficult sign going into the Draft and hardly a perfect fit for a franchise that supposedly has its eye on finances. He reportedly was seeking a bonus in excess of $3 million. The Dodgers drafted another LSU recruit on Tuesday, right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman of Grandview High School in Colorado, in the sixth round. Gausman told The Denver Post he too was leaning toward going to college. "Because of the amount of money that I want, they are going to follow me and see if I'm actually worth that," Gausman told The Post. "Being drafted in the sixth round, I think I have a chance to next year come out and really be a big influence at LSU and maybe even be their No. 1 guy on the mound," Gausman said. "As of right now, I'm set on [LSU]." White called Gausman's statement "a normal part of the process." "He would've been a potential late first-round sandwich pick, but he's got significant signing demands as well," White said. "And he may not sign. We'll see what happens." During baseball season at McKinney High School (Texas), Lee won 11 games with a 2.15 ERA and 90 strikeouts. He passed for 2,565 yards and 31 touchdowns and rushed for another nine TDs. The Dodgers would receive a compensation pick at No. 29 overall in next year's Draft if Lee does not sign.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.