WASHINGTON -- Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft is Monday and Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs remembers sitting around his college apartment with some friends waiting for his name to be called.
Stubbs had already worked out a pre-Draft deal in 2006 with the Reds, so when he became the eighth overall pick of the first round, it was a bit anticlimactic. Still, Stubbs remembers the excitement of finally achieving his lifetime goal of being drafted.
"I was looking forward to it more than anything else," said Stubbs, a three-time All-American at the University of Texas. "The Draft is a funny deal because up to the minute you get picked, you might think you're going in one spot and go somewhere completely different. There is a lot of excitement that day for young players."
Stubbs is one of four players on the Reds' roster who were first-round picks, along with outfielder Jay Bruce (2005, 12th overall), and right-handed pitchers Mike Leake ('09, eighth), and Homer Bailey ('04, seventh). For many players, Monday will be a day they remember for the rest of their lives, Stubbs said.
"It's something you dream of, to have the opportunity to play pro ball," Stubbs said. "[The Draft] is just the beginning to it."
Stubbs was eventually called up to the Reds last season, and he batted .267 with eight home runs in 42 games. Some of the biggest adjustments from college to pro included playing games almost every day, using a wooden bat, the extra travel and high caliber of play.
"Each level you climb, the competition gets better," Stubbs said. "Players make fewer mistakes. There's a lot of guys that are real good in Triple-A, but they're not as consistent in the Majors. Overall, the stuff pitchers have up here is better, but it's a pretty fine line between the big leagues and the upper level of the Minor Leagues."