Tim Proudfoot was known for his glove.
And that alone might have gotten the Texas Tech shortstop drafted.
As a junior, though, he blossomed.
He only committed two errors all season, but it was his improvement with the bat that got him noticed. The junior hit .309 with five doubles and 19 RBIs.
A year earlier, he hit .233 with a .654 OPS.
The improvement was noticed. Proudfoot was drafted in the 21st round of the MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics.
But, Proudfoot isn’t done at Texas Tech.
Not after leading the Red Raiders to their first College World Series appearance.
Proudfoot, along with right-handed pitcher Dominic Moreno, will return for their senior seasons after passing on opportunities to sign with Major League Baseball organizations by Friday’s signing deadline.
It marks the first time in school history that a pair of Red Raiders will return to campus after being drafted.
“After a lot of thought on the decision to sign (with Oakland) or return for my senior season, my family and I feel that it is in my best interest to return to Texas Tech to finish out my senior year,” Proudfoot said in a Texas Tech news release. “I am really looking forward to my final season as a Red Raider and I can’t wait to see all of the Red Raider fans.”
Moreno was drafted in the 33rd round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
After starting as a sophomore, Moreno moved to the bullpen late in his junior season. He went 4-5 with 3.14 ERA, 56 strikeouts and two saves in 66 games (eight starts) for the Red Raiders.
“I can’t wait to be back at Texas Tech,” Moreno said in the release. “I’ve had a lot of dreams come true the past few years and being a Red Raider for my senior season will just add to that list of dreams coming true. I’ve strived for this school to be the best since I arrived here and I’m going to continue to put in the work necessary to achieve all of those goals.”
Three Red Raider newcomers also passed on the MLB Draft as right-handed pitcher Quinn Carpenter was drafted in the 17th round by the Toronto Blue Jays, catcher Kholeton Sanchez was drafted in the 32nd round by the Los Angeles Angels and right-handed pitcher Patrick Mahomes, who will also play football for the Red Raiders, was drafted in the 37th round by the Detroit Tigers.
Carpenter helped lead Iowa Western Community College to the 2014 NJCAA National Championships, going 8-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Carpenter also hit .390 (with 44 runs, 12 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs and 58 RBI.
Sanchez batted .324 for New Mexico Junior College with seven doubles, two triples and three home runs with 41 RBIs.
Mahomes hit nearly .500 during his senior season, while going 5-2 on the mound with a 1.78 ERA. He also led the Whitehouse football team to a 12-1 record with 4,619 passing yards and 50 touchdown passes.