With the 131st overall pick (4th round) of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Mariners selected 3B Patrick Kivelhan, a defensive back on the football team and third baseman in baseball for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Big East Player of the Year and Triple Crown winner didn't even play collegiate baseball until this season, but busted onto the scene by hitting .392 with 14 HR and 53 RBIs.
At 6'2, 210, Kivelhan hadn't even really considered playing baseball for Rutgers, originally eschewing the sport for football out of high school. Via MLB.com's Josh Liebeskind, Kivelhan recollected, "At the time I just felt like football was what I loved. I loved both, but I felt like I had to make a decision, and I felt like I was getting more looks for football. All my friends played football, so kind of pressured from them to play football. I wanted to play big-time [Division I] football and when that opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it."
Things changed this last season, when a friend convinced him that he should get back into baseball. "He was telling me, 'You should still play, you can play. I told him -- because his older brother played at Rutgers, he was a pitcher -- I said, 'If your older brother talks to the coaches, tell me, I'll do it.' "
Kivelhan is still raw, with only one year of collegiate baseball under his belt, but the Mariners' are hoping his potential continues on the upward trajectory.
For updates and perspective on the Seattle Mariners, head on over to Lookout Landing.