One For Two

While West Virginia third baseman Ryan Tuntland decided to begin his pro career by signing with the San Francisco Giants, first baseman Ryan McBroom is electing to return to the Mountaineers for his final season. We spoke with McBroom during a break in his summer league action to get insight on his decision.

"I actually went out to Kansas City and spoke with people in the Royals organization, and they ended up offering me a good contract," the well-spoken Ryan McBroom said. "I had a great time there. Afterward, I came back and sat down with my family and discussed everything, and I decided it was best for me to come back to West Virginia for my senior season.

"I will graduate in June and that is important to me -- getting my degree," the power-hitter said. "I'm also looking forward to trying to win that Big 12 championship and playing another year with my teammates. There are a lot of us coming back, and being able to play with them and for Coach Mazey another year was important."

McBroom is also looking to improve on his already impressive numbers -- not to mention expanding his versatility -- to make himself even more attractive in next year's draft.

"I want to improve my on-base percentage, and that's been going well up here," said McBroom, who is laying for the Laconia Muskrats in the New England Baseball League. "I've just played in four games, but I'm getting on base and hitting it well. I'm also working on other positions. I'm playing in right field and taking a lot of fly balls."

In making his decision, McBroom also talked to a number of West Virginia's other draftees, including Ryan Tuntland and Sean Carley. The latter has also made his intention to return to WVU known, and getting everyone back except Tuntland was also a plus for the Virginia native.

"We talked about the draft, the pros and cons, and what was best for each of us," McBroom said. "Ryan made the best decision for himself, as we all did. I am excited that a lot of us are going to back to go for that Big 12 championship. Sean's going to be back and be a Friday or Saturday starter, and Harrison is coming back, so we have a lot of talent returning."

McBroom will be a leader both on and off the field for the Mountaineers in 2014. He embodies the "keep grinding" ethos of WVU coach Randy Mazey, and many of his teammates took a cue from his leadership during the surprising 2013 campaign.

Last year, he led the team in total bases (114) RBI (48) home runs (12), slugging percentage (.518), runs (39) and was second in OPS .838). He hit .268 while playing in all of WVU's 59 games.

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