Adam Berghorst and Jase Bowen already have something in common: They have both signed to play both football and baseball at Michigan State next year.
But after the third day of the MLB Draft on Wednesday, they now share a similar tough decision. Berghorst, a right-handed pitcher, was selected in the 14th round (No. 415 overall) by the Texas Rangers and Bowen, an outfielder, was an 11th-round (No. 344) selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Will they both pass up an opportunity to be dual-sport athletes at Michigan State to live out their baseball dreams?
It’s a big question, and one that neither has an answer to yet, per their head coaches.
Toledo Catholic Central head coach Jeff Mielcarek admitted he would be there for Bowen through this decision process, but it’s ultimately up to Bowen, his family and their advisor, he said.
“Jase has not announced anything,” Mielcarek said. “He has a great family and they have a great advisor. I said I’d be there for him throughout the process if he needs anything, but it’s ultimately their decision.”
Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio and baseball coach Jake Boss have both been supportive of Bowen, said Mielcarek. In fact, Dantonio is expected to visit him within the next 48 hours to talk about options.
As for Berghorst, head coach Matt Sattler could do nothing but brag about the character of the first baseball player drafted right out of high school from Zeeland (Mich.) East.
“We’re really excited for him,” Sattler said. “He’s a high-character kid and he carries himself with class. He hasn’t been caught up in all of this.”
While he admitted Berghorst, who attended Sattler’s son’s coach-pitch baseball game hours after being drafted, has a big decision to make, he doesn’t know which way his pitcher is leaning.
One thing he does know, though, is that whoever Berghorst chooses to play for will be getting a class act off the field, too.
In football, Berghorst is a defensive end and Bowen is a receiver; both are three-star prospects.
Berghorst is rated the No. 42 strong side defensive end in the nation and the No. 16 prospect overall in Michigan in the 2019 recruiting class by the 247Sports Composite. Bowen is ranked the No. 79 receiver nationally and the No. 25 player overall in Ohio.