Prado: low offer could bring ace back to USF

After recently losing a pair of players to pro contracts, there may be some good news ahead for USF baseball coach Lelo Prado.

Prado said Wednesday he thinks junior left-hander Andrew Barbosa, who led the Big East with the lowest ERA this season, will be back for his senior season at USF.

Barbosa, a 6-foot-8 starting pitcher who has only played one season in Division I, could opt to take a professional contract and forego his senior season after being drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 15th round of last week’s MLB draft, though Prado, who declined specifics, said the Giants offer could be low enough to sway Barbosa back to school.

“I don’t think Barbosa is going to sign. (The Giants are) not offering him any money,” Prado said Wednesday. “The offer is terrible.”

“He should go back to college and pitch.”

Also unsigned is junior Randy Fontanez, who was drafted in the 23rd round by the Cincinnati Reds. Draftees have until Aug. 15 to decide on the pros. Fontanez, the Big East Preseason Pitcher of the Year, led the conference in strikeouts this season.

Outfield signee Kyle Waldrop, who was the first Bull taken with a 12th-round selection, is still unsigned as is junior catcher Eric Sim, Prado said. Sim was drafted in the 27th round by the Giants.

“I’m waiting to see what happens with (Sim),” Prado said. “I thought he was (going to sign) but hasn’t yet.”

Prado said only outfielder Stephen Hunt and left-handed pitcher signee Kyle Ryan have signed with pro teams. Ryan, who was drafted in the 12th round by the Detroit Tigers, signed on June 11. Hunt, drafted in the 15th round by the Reds, signed earlier this week and won’t return to USF.

“He was a great player for us,” Prado said of Hunt, who led USF in most hitting categories this season. “He’s one of those players who got better every year … We’re happy for him.”

The Bulls had a total of 10 players drafted, including six signees. Outfielder Ozney Guillen, son of Chicago White sox manager Ozzie Guillen, will sign with USF. He was drafted by the White Sox in the 22nd round.