On the eve of the Major League Baseball Amateur First-Year Draft, I began looking over past drafts to see how well the Diamondbacks had fared with their picks. I was especially interested in the 2009 draft where the Diamondbacks had seven picks in the first two rounds.
By most accounts the Arizona Diamondbacks had a very successful draft reloading a farm system that had been decimated by call-ups and trades over the past few seasons. Not only did the team draft several impact players, they were able to sign 32 of their top 33 picks. As I looked at the list, I wondered, who was the kid who didn’t sign and whatever became of him.
In the 25th round with the 756th selection, the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Taylor Wrenn. Wrenn is the son of Diamondbacks scout Luke Wrenn and was highly recruited in high school before finally accepting a scholarship to USC.
A 25th round selection, the bonus money associated with that slot is nominal. Wrenn chose to attend college and hopefully increase his draft stock. That should have been the end to this story but something else caught my eye.
Buried deep within the links of a search engine results page was an entry with the headline, “USC’s Wrenn has new lease on life”. Curious I clicked the link expecting to find a story of a high school prospect trying to make it at the college level.
Instead I sat mesmerized as I read the article by Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports. It described Taylor Wrenn’s fight for his life after suffering an allergic reaction to a prescribed antibiotic. Within a few short hours he went from a top flight baseball talent to a person fighting for his life.
As a father my heart went out to his parents Luke and Angel and the thoughts of them standing in the hospital as a doctor told them their son had a one in ten chance of surviving. The calls to Wrenn’s coach Chad Kreuter who kept in touch with the family and helped teammates deal with the battles their friend was dealing with.
Through prayer and the tireless working of the medical staff Wrenn was able to recover. He was even able to get back into playing shape in time for the 2010 season. And while he slipped away from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Taylor Wrenn is now able to again play the game he loves.
Perhaps in the future the Diamondbacks and Wrenn will again cross paths and this time they can reach an agreement on a contract. I for one would gladly give him a standing ovation for beating the odds and maybe cheating death just a little.