Who is Kyle Stroup, you say? He was once the heralded right-handed pitcher out of Arlington Heights, the crown jewel of Ed Mathey's most recent recruiting class. Stroup alone was one of the top prospects in Illinois and made our incoming freshman class tops in the MAC.
He signed his letter of intent to the Huskies, but bolted for the Red Sox to become the Mr. Irrelevant of the MLB Draft all the way back in June. Last year I thought that he'd still become a Huskie, because I didn't think he'd be able to get the signing bonus that he wanted in the last round of the draft.
Stroup wanted $250,000, but eventually settled for $150,000. He was supposed to go in the first 10 rounds, but slipped far because of his bonus demands. This might be the biggest bonus ever for the last pick in the draft:
Even the last pick in the draft, 50th-rounder Kyle Stroup, a pitcher, got $150,000 (the same bonus as 7th-round pick, catcher Tim Federowicz, out of the University of North Carolina).
When it was announced that he was jumping Northern Illinois for the pros, naturally I was disappointed. I even thought he would attend a JUCO instead of actually going the minor league option after being picked so late.
I recently received a comment to a post from my old blog on this subject and here is what the user 'Kenny' had to say:
I was just in Fort Myers and saw this kid at the Red Sox facilities. He had gained something like 60 lbs and the organization will not let him pick up a ball until he gets his weight down. I believe he is spending a little too much time eating and drinking with his 250K.
I looked for something to back up this random observation and I found this little tidbit on SoxProspects.com:
Kyle Stroup reported to camp overweight ... Like all of the other players, he'll need to run the 1.5 mile "mega-loop" around the complex in under eighteen minutes before he can step onto the field
In a roundabout way, this turns out to be poetic justice for NIU. The so-called "Mr. Irrelevant" of the draft in Kyle Stroup actually became irrelevant in his first few days around the Boston Red Sox camp. I hope potential recruits in the future make better decisions about playing in college. I hope that he can somehow make a career off of the mound, but right now it isn't looking that great for Kyle.
The Red Sox had better hope he turns it around, as he is signed for 7 years coming out of HS.