Indiana wide receiver Andrew Means knew that if the last pick of the NFL draft was announced and his name had not yet been called, he would be too emotional to make a decision about his future as teams began calling him with free agent offers.
So he set the parameters before the draft even started: if a team picked him, he’d go with football. If not, he’d concentrate on baseball.
“I just thought if I wasn’t picked I should return to baseball and try to work my way through the minors as quickly as I could and become a Cincinnati Red,” he said Monday. “It’s like anything: I just wanted a team to make a commitment to me by using a draft pick. The Reds did that, they’ve been supportive of me the whole way. Now, it’s time for me to return that to them.”
Means, who was an 11th-round pick of the Reds last year, will head to Sarasota, Fla. Wednesday for extended spring training and expects to be assigned to Single-A Dayton when he is in baseball shape. He left the Reds organization about three weeks ago — after partaking in about three weeks of spring training — to pursue a football career.
“For whatever reason that didn’t work out,” said Means, who heard from more than 10 NFL teams who wanted to sign him as a free agent. “I’ve played two sports my whole life and at some point you’ve got to make a decision. I’m just excited to see what I can do when I concentrate on baseball and bring all my tools together.”