Kyle Rhoad’s focus during his college career has been schoolwork first. Playing baseball was an added
The Elmwood High School graduate has taken both aspects of college life to the next level. He carried a
3.91 grade-point average and earned his master’s of business administration degree, with a focus in
supply chain management, this season and was selected as a third-team academic All-American.
"Any opportunity that I had to get through as much school as I could as fast as I could, I thought
was a good thing," Rhoad said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon. "Eventually that’s
what is going to get me a job in the real world."
On the field, Rhoad had a strong senior season, hitting .349 with a Mid-American Conference-best 32
On Thursday, he was selected in the 33rd round of the Major League baseball first-year player draft by
the Texas Rangers. He was the 994th player drafted.
"Everything that has happened with baseball has been a great bonus with me," Rhoad said.
"I feel really fortunate that this happened. Five years ago when I was at Miami University, I would
never have thought I would have a chance to play professional baseball.
"Honestly, my family might be more excited about this whole thing than I am and I’m pretty freaking
excited about it … It’s a really good day," he added.
A standout athlete at Elmwood, Rhoad spent one year at Miami of Ohio before transferring to Eastern
Michigan. He is the first Elmwood baseball player to be drafted since Chris Hoiles in 1986, who also
attended Eastern. Elmwood’s Todd Adkins was drafted in 1983.
"It’s my first one. I’m just ecstatic for him. He’s worked his butt off," said Kyle Reiser,
Elmwood’s current head baseball coach.
Rhoad said Texas was one of five teams to show interest in him. The others were Cleveland, Detroit,
Arizona and San Diego.
"I had a lot of interest this season about possibly being drafted," Rhoad said. "I was
expecting to go sometime (Wednesday) or (Thursday).
"I was joking with my brother that I wanted to go in the first 1,000 and I just squeaked it
He said the level of competition in the MAC this season led to more exposure for him.
"Fortunately for me, our conference this year was loaded with a lot of professional prospects,
pitchers and position players both," Rhoad said. "It just gave me more of a chance to play in
front of scouts that maybe had not seen me in the past."
Marc Krauss, from Patrick Henry High School and Ohio University, was the 62nd overall pick by Arizona and
the attention he drew from the higher-level scouts benefitted the entire MAC.
"Your area scouts, they are familiar with a lot of us; they are at a lot of our games throughout the
season," Rhoad said. "It helps that you can get in front of some of the bigger name people who
are going to be in there on draft day and making draft decisions."
It didn’t hurt that Rhoad hit three home runs in Eastern’s 13-4 win over Ohio University in the MAC
tournament on May 22.
"It was another good time to get in front of some scouts," Rhoad said.
An outfielder, Rhoad started all 60 games for EMU this season and led the Eagles with the .349 batting
average to go with 12 homers, 34 RBI, and the 32 stolen bases. He recorded 25 multiple-hit games and had
the Eagles’ longest hitting streak of the season (16 games).
His 32 stolen bases were an EMU single-season record and his 66 career stolen bases rank third all-time.
Rhoad ranks fourth all-time in runs scored (158), ninth in hits (206), 10th in at-bats (648) and 11th in
home runs (24). His 69 runs scored this past season are the third most in a single season at EMU.
Rhoad, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, was named to the MAC All-Tournament team after hitting a tournament-best
four homers to go along with six runs scored and seven RBI to lead the Eagles to a pair of wins.
He was also named one of 30 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award this season, an award that
recognizes excellence in four areas: classroom, character, community, and competition.
"Kyle is a great player to take a chance on with his power, speed, a good arm, but more importantly
good baseball instincts," said EMU head baseball coach Jay Alexander. "Kyle has all the tools
they look for in an outfielder at the next level and he is an extremely hard worker and will be a very
good professional. I don’t know anyone who is more deserving of a chance to show what he can do at the
Now Rhoad is just waiting for the next step in his baseball career. He doesn’t have an agent and hopes to
sign a contract as soon as possible. Texas has a short-season rookie league team in Spokane, Wash.
"As a fifth-year senior, it’s pretty standard what contract you’re going to get," Rhoad said.
"In my case, I don’t want to make it difficult for a team to sign me. It’s going to be a lot easier
for me to get into a system and play and move my way up if I’m more of a signable guy.
"I just want to prove I can play at the next level," he added.