Kenyon Yovan may take his draft decision down to the July 15 deadline.
After missing almost all of this season due to injury, Yovan was selected in the 27th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Angels last week. He was projected in the preseason as one of the top 25 pitching prospects in college baseball by Baseball America before he was injured in the opening game against Texas Tech and never returned to the mound.
Yovan, a two-time all-Pac-12 selection, could return to Oregon as a redshirt junior if he does not sign with the Angels during the next month.
“Still working things out with the Angels, so not sure yet,” he said Friday while attending Mark Wasikowski’s introductory news conference as Oregon’s new baseball coach. “Either way, I just want to get out there and play. Sitting on the bench all year was hard, but I tried to help out as much as possible. I tried to push myself a bit, but it didn’t work out because my body would not allow me to.”
Yovan was originally recruited to the Ducks by Wasikowski when he was an assistant to George Horton before leaving to become head coach at Purdue prior to Yovan’s freshman season with the Ducks. Wasikowski joked that he was going to put Yovan in a headlock until he agreed to return next season.
“I’d be excited to play for him,” Yovan said. “I loved coach Horton, he was a father to all of us and I can’t thank him enough for all he has done for me and my family. Obviously, a change was made and I’m excited it was Waz who got the job.”
Yovan originally had blood clots in his palm and later felt numbness in a finger. He said doctors recently figured out the problem originated in his shoulder and he had surgery to clean it out.
“It was like a soft tissue ball blocking everything and they said it was easy enough, they didn’t have to go through any muscle,” Yovan explained. “I have a two-month recovery. I will be playing catch by Aug. 1 if not sooner. I am not playing summer ball so there is no point in pushing it. I will get all my strength back and they say I will come back better than I was because of the strength I gain through rehab, so I am excited.”