Adam Choplick knew what it felt like to be chosen in baseball’s first-year player draft.
Right after the left-handed pitcher graduated from Ryan and before he started playing for Oklahoma, he was taken in the 2011 draft.
But after two elbow surgeries, he wondered if he was going to be drafted again after he passed on the offer out of high school.
The Oklahoma redshirt sophomore was taken in the 32nd round Saturday by the Chicago White Sox with the 948th overall pick.
“After having Tommy John [surgery] twice, you think maybe you shouldn’t be playing baseball right now,” Choplick said. “But it’s extremely exciting to be able to be drafted again. I’m truly blessed for it.”
Now the main question will be if the 6-foot-9, 250-pound junior decides to sign with the White Sox, the team that drafted New Mexico State shortstop and fellow Ryan alumnus Zach Voight in 2012.
Choplick has until Aug. 15 to return to OU for his junior year or join the White Sox, but he said he’ll make his decision within the next week.
Arizona drafted Choplick in the 17th round of the 2011 draft, but he decided to try his luck in college baseball.
Shortly afterward, Choplick needed another surgery.
He redshirted his freshman season and made 10 starts as a sophomore. In his junior year, Choplick started 14 games and went 3-4 with a 5.35 ERA. Choplick led the Sooners’ staff in starts in 2014.
“This year I was up and down,” Choplick said. “I felt a lot better than I did last year. I felt a lot stronger. I had a couple of games where I didn’t go out there and pitch as well as I should have. It’s just a learning process for me right now.”
Ryan coach Bret Warnack said it was good for his former ace to be in Norman, Okla., to rehabilitate from the second surgery. Warnack said the second surgery was far less complicated than the first one, and the surgeries that have become common should not pose an issue for Choplick.
“I know Adam’s work ethic and I know he did his rehab right,” Warnack said. “I think he’s been healthy.”
Regardless of whether Choplick decides to return for his junior year or start playing in the White Sox organization, Saturday’s selection was a testament to what the big lefty is capable of doing on the mound.
The first time [Choplick was drafted] it was really exciting because I had that Tommy John the first time,” Choplick said. “Having it the second time and people still wanting to draft me, that must mean that I have something about me that people want. That’s exciting.”