July 30, 2009 1:55:00 PM
Danny P Smith -
Former Mississippi State pitcher Jared Wesson wasn''t sure the opportunity was going to come.
After his name failed to come up one month after the Major League Baseball First-Player Draft, he began to wonder if any organization would take a chance on him.
Then he received a call from the Detroit Tigers, who signed the left-hander to a free-agent contract. Wesson already has reported to the team''s training camp facility in Lakeland, Fla.
"I just got a call out of the blue," Wesson said. "They have given me a chance, and I''m just going to try and make the most of it."
Wesson said three major league teams had him on the board during the draft, but he was told it would be late in the process and he "didn''t have a problem with that."
When he wasn''t drafted, Wesson accepted it wasn''t meant to be and then was shocked that member of the Detroit Tigers organization called him.
The Florida Marlins drafted the former Tupelo High School and Itawamba Community College pitcher in the 29th round of the 2005 draft.
Wesson redshirted with the Bulldogs in 2007 and had limited opportunities to contribute. He was 2-0 with a save as a senior this past season.
Although he didn''t have many chances to pitch at MSU, Wesson has already impressed the coaches in Lakeland. He has had two bullpen workouts and plans to throw a practice game Friday.
"They want me as a starter and not a reliever because he likes the way I throw and I have more than two pitches," Wesson said, who has a fastball, curveball, and changeup. "I guess I''ll start the rest of the summer and we''ll have a month left."
Wesson anticipates getting his first start next week.