(Information in the Daily Journal of Johnson County (IN) is included in this news release)
Because Rend Lake College Catcher/Outfielder Kyle Geiger was able to enjoy a second successful season at the Juco level this past spring, he was able to find work this summer in Elizabethton, TN. A patient Minnesota Twins organization eagerly awaited his arrival.
The Twins selected the 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect in the 2002 Major League Free-Agent Draft. By choosing him in the "draft and follow" portion, the Twins were hoping they would like what they saw during the past year and then get Geiger’s name on a pro contract before this year’s draft.
Mission accomplished by all parties concerned.
"It’s every kid’s dream," the Greenwood, IN, product told hometown Assistant Sports Editor Jeff Decker. "Baseball is going to be my job now."
Midwest Scout Billy Milos told the Daily Journal the Twins were pleased with Geiger’s progress at Rend Lake College. "Milos remained in contact with Geiger throughout this season, and other Twins scouts who watched Geiger play liked what they saw," according to Decker.
"Geiger improved his mechanics defensively and came more disciplined at the plate," Milos said.
The Twins scout told the Daily Journal, "I think he prepared himself to where he is now ready to play professionally. I don’t think things could have gone any smoother."
The two-time All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference honoree hit .379 as a freshman and .346 this spring, and his production went from three home runs and 26 RBIs as a freshman to four and 31, respectively, in 43 games as a sophomore under the watch eye of Milos and more.
Wrote Decker, "Having an extra year to evaluate Geiger gave the Twins scouts the chance to get better acquainted with him and see if he was prepared for the rigors of minor-league baseball. Having signed him, they obviously believe he is ready.
"'I really like this kid. I like his makeup,'" Milos said. "'He is already big and strong, and he will work. He’s a tough kid, but he will listen and he will work.'"
Geiger signed shortly after his college career ended. Following a brief break, he reported to the Twins extended spring training camp in Fort Myers, FL. A mini-camp followed that, and now life for Geiger is an abbreviated Appalachian League season in Tennessee.
So much for having to narrow his four-year college choice to the University of Texas-Arlington, Western Kentucky University or Louisiana-Lafayette.
Geiger starred in both baseball and football at Center Grove High School. The 2000 football team he quarterbacked finished runner-up in the Class 5A State Championship, and the baseball squad he led was a regional champion his senior season.
He was the Daily Journal’s 2001 Johnson County "Baseball Player of the Year."
Should pro baseball not work out for him, Geiger can return to college with financial help from the Twins the way his contract was written.
That certainly does not fit into his immediate plans, however. Everything else has worked out perfectly to allow Geiger to live out "every kid's dream."
Now it is time for him to go to work.