Clayton Kershaw might soon have a fellow former Scots pitcher as a Los Angeles Dodgers teammate.
Baylor left-hander and 2009 Highland Park graduate Crayton Bare was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 28th round of Major League Baseball’s draft on June 8. He was the 844th overall pick.
“That would be really cool,” Bare said of playing with Kershaw. “I would love that. I’ve been to Los Angeles twice. The weather is really nice. I’ve never actually been to a game at [Dodger Stadium]. I grew up going to Rangers games, but I wouldn’t say I was a die-hard Rangers fan; I just enjoy baseball as a whole.”
A reliever who also made one start, Bare had 71 career appearances. He pitched 87.2 innings, finishing with a 3.39 ERA, 88 strikeouts, and 39 walks. He also earned an 8-4 record and seven saves.
Bare was a second-team All-Big 12 pick last season after going 6-2 with a 3.38 ERA and a career-high five saves. His 70 career relief appearances is seventh all-time at Baylor, which just missed out on a College World Series trip in 2012.
Bare said he was sitting on his couch two Saturdays ago, monitoring the draft on his computer, when he got a text from his father, Rob.
“I looked up at the computer, and it said, ‘Crayton Bare drafted by the Dodgers.’ I was pretty excited,” he said.
Bare, who was a business media and entrepreneurship major, paid for his last two years at Baylor via an entrepreneurial scholarship named after ex-Astros owner Drayton McLane. The former walk-on player started two companies with business partner Grant Woodruff as a back-up plan if he didn’t get drafted: Ambery is an iPhone app related to text messages; Chaser Strips are a type of candy.
“It’s something I’ve worked really hard at, but I’ve never put all of my eggs in one basket with baseball,” Bare said. “I just went at it as hard as I could. Now, I get to wake up every day as a professional baseball player.”
Woodruff will continue to run the two companies while Bare tries to work his way up to the majors.
“Crayton was one of those kids that never left the field,” said Highland Park head coach Travis Yoder, who was an assistant when Bare was a Scot. “He always worked at it and always got better. He had ability, but he also had to work hard. He stayed after it every single day and worked on his craft. That’s the kind of kid you want on the baseball field.”
Bare’s time at Highland Park overlapped with Kershaw’s for one year; both pitched and played first base.
“I played with some tremendous players at Highland Park. I kept getting a little bit better every year,” Bare said. “This year, I was able to string together a ton of really good relief appearances. I’m not going to blow anybody away with my fastball, but I can get by with it. I can throw four pitches any time, so it was the kind of repertoire that made me successful.”
Judging by his drive off the field, Bare seems to have his bases covered with either baseball or business. Or both.
“To be anywhere in the same vicinity of Clayton Kershaw is a good thing,” Yoder said. “Any time you have one of your high school kids get drafted, it’s something special no matter what round it is; it took something special to get there. You don’t get to coach those kind of athletes that often. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of those athletes.”