Former USF baseball standout Myron Leslie signed a contract with the Oakland As Tuesday, and his first assignment is short-season rookie ball in the Northwest League.
The specifics of the contract were not available for release.
Leslie flew out Monday to join his new team, the Vancouver Canadiens.
“(Oakland) wanted to get me signed so that I could get out and go play,” Leslie said. “It’s just short season; it’s kind of just where they send all their draft picks. Depending on how you do they might move you around.”
The Philadelphia Phillies, following his junior season, took him in the 11th round; Leslie elected to return to USF for his senior season, a move that worked to his advantage. In this year’s First Year Players Draft, Oakland drafted Leslie in the eighth round (247th overall).
Leslie’s first game with the Vancouver Canadiens is Friday against the Everett AquaSox.
His former coaches expect him to have the same success he had at USF. The former Bulls shortstop is the all- time leader in hits (312), doubles (74) and runs scored (227) for the school.
“I don’t think it’s what Myron has to show,” USF assistant coach Bryan Peters said. “It’s what people need to see in him. He is the most intelligent player I have ever coached. He is so smart he has a Ph.D. in baseball. I wouldn’t be surprised if he made it to the majors. I have told people I thought he was going to.”
But to get to the bigs, Leslie will have to make some adjustments.
Besides adjusting to a wooden bat after a season of swinging aluminum, Leslie will also have to get used to his new field position at third base after having played shortstop for the Bulls.
But Leslie has had success with a wooden bat. Last season with the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod League he hit .266 with four home runs and 19 RBI.
Peters agrees with coach Eddie Cardieri that Leslie is a better fit at third.
“As far as pro ball goes, he projects better as a third baseman,” Peters said. “That’s more of a natural position for him.”
Peters added that it shouldn’t be a surprise if Leslie winds up at catcher down the road.
For now Leslie will have a lot of baseball to make those adjustments. His first day off is June 31 before the Canadiens play a game everyday for 33 consecutive days. The short season runs through Sept. 5.