June 18, 2013

Draft pick getting fill of Royals in Omaha

Cody Stubbs is playing for North Carolina in the College World Series.
Cody Stubbs

didn’t put the TV market geography together when his North Carolina Tar Heels qualified for the College World Series.

“We get here, turn on the TV and there they are, seems like every channel,” Stubbs said.

The Royals’ eighth-round draft selection earlier this month – and the only one playing in the tournament this week in Omaha, Neb. _ will get to watch catch more of the local big-league team on the local channel after Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over LSU in a loser-go-home game.

Stubbs, the Tar Heels’ 6-4 left-handed hitting first-baseman, went hitless in two at-bats, but remains North Carolina’s top hitter at .363. He also leads the team and is third nationally with 76 RBI.

His biggest postseason moment was a walk-off single in the 13th inning of the Chapel Hill Regional elimination game victory over Florida Atlantic.

Stubbs’ post-draft communication with the Royals was brief.

“They told me there’s not much to do about it right now and to go up here and win,” said Stubbs, who when he signs figures to start in Burlington, N.C., Idaho Falls or Kentucky.

Stubbs is a senior who started his college career at Tennessee. He stayed there one year before transferring to Walters State (Tenn.) Community College. He’s played first and the outfield in college, and doesn’t have a preference. “Just put me out there and I’ll be happy,” he said.

This year marked the third time Stubbs had been drafted. He was the Red Sox’ 29th round choice out of Tuscola, N.C., High, and Nationals’ 14th-round pick out of junior college. One of his motivations for remaining in college was to play in the College World Series where North Carolina has become a perennial with six Omaha appearances in the last eight years.

Stubbs said he got the college choice right, eventually, and believes he was selected by the right major-league team.

“We had talked and I knew it was possible they’d draft me,” Stubbs said. “It’s a great organization for development. One of the best, if not the best.”

For Stubbs, the Royals’ market reach also is a plus this week.

| Blair Kerkhoff,

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