Bulls shortstop Diaz won't be back
Junior shortstop Walter Diaz, the Miami transfer who led USF with a .339 batting average this season, won't be back for his senior year with the Bulls.
Diaz, drafted in the 48th round by the Cleveland Indians, has gotten a higher offer than anticipated for his draft position and is expected to sign a pro contract later this month, pitching coach Lazer Collazo said Tuesday.
"He's finishing up negotiations with Cleveland and will sign in the next few weeks," Collazo said. "They're not giving him the money that goes with the (48th) round. They're giving him top-10, top-15-round money." (That would suggest a six-figure signing bonus.)
Diaz was a catalyst atop the Bulls' lineup, leading Lelo Prado's first USF team in hitting, runs (56) and stolen bases (15). He committed a team-high 25 errors at shortstop, but would have been one of USF's top returning players for 2008.
Collazo also had news on two more USF recruits who were drafted last month: Miami Springs' Yoanny Barroso, taken in the 46th round by Texas, is going to sign with the Rangers, he said, becoming the fourth USF signee to opt for a pro contract. The good news is that Riverview's Juan "Junior" Carlin, taken in the 29th round by Boston, is in summer school, along with fellow draft picks Derrick Stultz and Stephen Hunt. Check back later for more baseball news on two big bats set to join the Bulls this fall ...