Hancock Closing In On Decision

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas baseball signee Kyle Hancock's future is closer than a running fastball high and tight.

In fact, the All-American pitcher is a day away -- and maybe sooner -- from learning if he's headed to college in the fall or a rookie league next week.

"We're expecting to have the final offer by Thursday," said Hancock, a right-hander from Rowlett, Texas. "But the call could come any minute."

Hancock already has brushed back several offers, the latest just under $600,000, as the Colorado Rockies continue to contemplate whether their third-round draft pick is worth second-round money.

Wisely, Hancock is keeping a tight grip on the exact amount it would take for him to sign professionally. His advisors, Beverly Hills Sports Council, met with Rockies' General Manager Dan O'Dowd during last week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Detroit.

"We were supposed to get a final offer last Friday," said Hancock, Colorado's top unsigned draftee. "(The Rockies) have been doing a lot of trading here lately, so it's kind of been put off for a couple of days and now we're just waiting to see how it goes.

"We're just weighing our options and, right now, I'm still planning on coming up there next week for (freshman) orientation."

As a senior this past spring, Hancock was 12-1 with a 1.13 ERA while striking out 144 in 70 innings in earning Player of the Year honors for The Dallas Morning News. His fastball tops out at 94 mph and he also sports a nasty breaking ball which is why most experts predicted he would go much earlier than the 87th overall pick in last month's draft.

If the Rockies can't match what Hancock and his advisors believe is deserved, then he'll have no problem playing in a Razorbacks uniform instead. The only drawback in that scenario is that he wouldn't be draft eligible again until after his junior year.

"We've been looking at what it could do for us in a couple of years if I can get a little higher than ($600,000) and it would set me up pretty good over the next two or three years," Hancock said. "There's a chance that some payroll may open up as far as their trades. Some money might come available and we really don't know how much that might benefit me ... It might not benefit me at all.

"It's getting close and whatever happens, it's going to be quite a decision for me to make."

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