Notre Dame's Robichaux awaits MLB draft

CROWLEY – UL-Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux is all too familiar with the Major League Baseball Draft.

Afterall, he has watched over the years as a number of his signees have opted to forgo their college careers and go on to professional baseball directly out of high school.

This week, that could happen again.

Only this time, it would hit much closer to home for Robichaux.

Literally.

His son, Notre Dame standout and ULL signee Austin Robichaux, is projected by some to be drafted on Day 2 of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft which begins Monday at 7 p.m. Only two rounds - the first round and the compensation round - will take place Monday.

The draft resumes Tuesday at noon with rounds 2-3. Rounds 31-50 will begin at noon on Wednesday.

“This is one of those things that’s really an educated guess going into it,” said Coach Robichaux of the draft. “Some people could have a lot of activity, fill out a lot of questionnaires, have a lot of phone calls and stuff and still not get drafted.

“First, they have to put you up on their board to be drafted. But once you’re up on their board, a lot can happen.”

Whatever happens, both father and son are prepared.

“He (Austin) has signed a scholarship to come play for us, he’s fully enrolled in school and gone through the Clearinghouse,” said Tony. “We’ll let the draft happen. When it occurs, they’re going to come in and make an offer and then it’s up to us at that time to see if we want to take that offer or not.”

Ultimately, the decision will be up to Austin.

“What we’ve tried to do with him is we’ve tried to educate him on every aspect of the draft,” said coach Robichaux. “The good and the bad and allow him to try and make the decision that he thinks is in his best interest. And we’re going to allow him to make that decision because it’s his future, not mine.”

The decision certainly won’t be an easy one, no matter what dollar amount is thrown at him, says the young Robichaux.

“Ever since I was little, one thing I wanted to do was play for my dad,” he said. “Seeing my brother (Justin) do it, I wanted to do the same thing.

“It’s hard to turn that down, but then again, my other dream was to play Major League baseball and when you’re getting big digits thrown at you, it’s not the easiest decision to make. Should I wear this shirt or should I wear that shirt? It isn’t going to be that easy.”

Easy or not, it promises to be an exciting time for both father and son.

“You know, it’s one of those things that starts out fun and then ends up being somewhat of a problem,” said coach Robichaux. “But the problem is really a decision to make. But I think once you make the decision, the problem goes away.

“First of all, it’s an honor, I don’t care what round you’re in, I don’t care if you’re the last guy selected in the draft. It’s an honor to be drafted.”

Regardless of the outcome, the experience has been one the hard-throwing, 17-year-old right-hander will not soon forget.

“This has been an experience like something I have never experienced before,” said Austin. “It’s been something else. I wish everybody could go through what I’ve gone through. Having 16 to 17 scouts show up while you pitch, it’s something that I never felt before.

“At first, it was a little tough to get used to, trying to throw because your mind gets focused on them instead of the game. But as it went on, I got used to it.”

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