I am glad he signed with the Reds. I hope he has a fast and complete recovery.
By Cedric Golden
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Carson Kainer had planned to return to Texas for his senior season, but the Longhorns' All-Big 12 outfielder received an offer he could not refuse Tuesday.
Kainer is skipping his final college season after signing a professional baseball contract with the Cincinnati Reds.
Kainer underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 12 — his father, Ron, was the donor — and he had planned to return to school before negotiations heated up with the Reds, the team that selected him in the 14th round of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft in June.
Kainer agreed to a $60,000 signing bonus, and the team also agreed to pay for his final two semesters of college.
"I know there are some people who may be upset with me, but it's my lifelong dream,'' said Kainer, 21. "For me to get this opportunity is a blessing and something that would have been hard to pass up."
The Reds called Kainer after his surgery and had their doctors examine him this past week. After he was cleared as fit to resume playing baseball, the team made him the contract offer.
Reds' area talent scout Mark Snipp said Kainer's physical ability and his mental makeup were the biggest factors in the decision to sign him. Kainer joins former college teammates Sam LeCure and Drew Stubbs in the Reds' organization.
"I've followed him since high school, and we always knew he could swing the bat,'' Snipp said. "I told him he could be a pioneer in baseball. He has all this energy, and we hope he can transfer it over to the baseball field."
Kainer called Longhorns coach Augie Garrido on Tuesday afternoon to inform him of his decision. Kainer, who batted .364 with a team-high 66 RBIs this past season, also thanked Garrido for his support throughout his career.
Kainer said he is jogging 15 minutes a day and plans to start taking batting practice in the next couple of weeks. He plans to attend Cincinnati's spring training camp in March.