With opportunities shrinking at a rapid rate, Kris Anglin is looking to fast-track his route to a professional baseball career.
The former Frontier pitcher, who committed to play at Cal State Bakersfield last fall, changed course over the weekend, announcing he was decommitting from CSUB to enroll at Howard College, a junior college program in Big Spring, Texas.
Anglin, who is currently competing in the Florida Gulf Coast Summer Collegiate League, said the decision was largely sparked by the negative impact the Coronavirus has had on professional baseball.
In a cost-cutting measure, Major League Baseball also made drastic changes to its 2020 amateur draft. Normally containing 40 rounds, this year's draft will have just five.
With more players competing for fewer spots, Anglin, who didn't allow a single earned run in four appearances during the shortened 2020 high school season, believes he can make himself a clearer path to the draft by taking the JUCO route.
While players at four-year schools must have completed their junior season or be at least 21 years old, junior college players are eligible to enter the draft as early as the end of their freshman season.
"I saw an opportunity where I had a chance to get drafted and actually play in the Major Leagues," Anglin said. "The opportunities are limited and I kind of have to work with what I have and make opportunities for myself."
He believes those opportunities will come at Howard College, a multi-time NJCAA national championship-winning program that's sent more than 60 players to the professional ranks.
Initially excited to continue his baseball career in front of a hometown crowd, Anglin admits it will be a big adjustments not having friends and family in the stands for most of his games.
But even if they're more than 1,200 miles away, Anglin expects his cheering sections will remain enthusiastic from a distance as he works towards achieving his long-term goals.
“I’m not going to have the support system I’m used to around me, which is obviously a big thing for anyone," he said. "But my family and support system is pushing me to do what’s best for me in the long run. It’s hard but with everyone around me, the way they push me, they’re making it a lot easier.