Baseball: Sedon not sure if he would go pro

By Jay Huerbin

Late-night workouts and extra practices helped Pitt baseball’s Chris Sedon have a breakout… Late-night workouts and extra practices helped Pitt baseball’s Chris Sedon have a breakout season this spring. And soon, that hard work could land him in the major leagues.

“I might not have the size, but I think my biggest advantage is my work ethic,” the second baseman said. “But it’s a dream of every kid who plays baseball to one day play in the majors.”

And that dream might happen sooner than later.

Sedon, who transferred from Lackawanna College in Lancaster, Pa., is listed as the No. 4 prospect in Pennsylvania, according to Baseball America. Projections say he could be drafted as early as the 10th round.

The 2009 MLB Draft started last night and lasts until Thursday. The first three rounds took place last night, while rounds 4 through 30 are today and rounds 31 through 50 take place tomorrow.

And with postseason awards, recognitions and a successful junior season, Sedon’s chances of getting drafted this week are high.

But that doesn’t make his upcoming decision any easier.

“Honestly, I’m still 50-50 on it,” Sedon said about his decision to sign a contract, instead of remaining at Pitt, if drafted. “If it’s a good opportunity, I’ll take it. But I think I still have something good here at Pitt.”

After batting .398 this past season with 22 home runs, his mark on college baseball has gained awareness.

But despite his success on the field during his 2009 campaign, Sedon didn’t think too much about the draft.

“It wasn’t really on my mind during the season,” he said. “I just wanted to play college baseball and have fun.”

And have fun he did.

His 22 home runs, 160 total bases and 65 runs last season set Pitt single-season records. And his 19 stolen bases led the Panthers.

Sedon started his career at Pitt with a nine-game hitting streak and held two separate eight-game hitting streaks over the course of the season. He also hit a home run in 12 of Pitt’s last 16 games.

And he didn’t slow down when the Panthers qualified for the Big East tournament. He hit two home runs and recorded four RBI in the team’s two losses to South Florida and West Virginia.

Along with an All-Big East First Team selection, Sedon was also named to the Louisville Slugger TPX All-America First Team. He is the third Panther to earn that honor.

But these honors are no surprise to Pitt coach Joe Jordano, who saw Sedon progress firsthand over the season.

“Chris emerged as one of our leaders this year,” Jordano said. “He brings tremendous energy to the field every day. Whether it is a game or practice, he does a great job.”

Jordano said he has witnessed nearly 40 players sign professionally since he began his tenure at Pitt in November 1997. For as much as Sedon brings to the Panthers, Jordano said he still wants what is best for his players.

“I am in full support of whatever decision Chris makes,” he said. “If he gets what he needs to leave early, great. If he returns to Pitt, I believe he will be a legitimate candidate for the Big East Player of the Year.”

Sedon said he receives similar support from his friends and family.

“[My teammates] want me to come back,” he said. “But if I go, they said they’ll still love me.”

For Sedon, the hardest part about possibly leaving Pitt is walking away from the potential that the team has for next spring.

“I think our team will be even stronger than last year,” he said. “I think we made a big jump from the year before.”

The Panthers finished the season in eighth place and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since 2007. The team finished with five more wins in the Big East and nine more overall.

With the addition of Sedon last season, the Panthers also improved offensively. The team hit .307 last season — up from .291 in 2008 — and nine more home runs in four fewer games.

And Jordano said he doesn’t expect the team to slow down if Sedon returns to Pitt.

“Our club respects him,” he said. “And if Chris returns, I am sure he will embrace that role again next season.”

Sedon said playing in the MLB has been a dream of his since he started playing baseball as a kid. And although he’s undecided on what he’ll do about this draft, his coach said he believes Sedon is bound for the majors.

“I feel confident that Chris will play professional baseball,” Jordano said. “Whether that is this summer or next, he will get his opportunity.”