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updated: 6/17/2017 8:57 PM

San Diego Padres provide Stevenson grad Marchese a nice option

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  • Stevenson center fielder Henry Marchese makes the catch.

      Stevenson center fielder Henry Marchese makes the catch.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson WR Henry Marchese.

      Stevenson WR Henry Marchese.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

The choice was easy for Henry Marchese. He just had to check his cellphone -- while taking a test.

"I know you're not supposed to do that," he said.

Marchese's circumstances made his decision to peek at his phone during class understandable, even to instructors at the University of Iowa. The recent Stevenson graduate reported to Iowa City on Monday to begin football workouts for the Hawkeyes and start two classes.

On Wednesday, Day 3 of the MLB amateur draft, Marchese was taking a student-athlete test when his phone started blowing up. He got permission to leave the room.

"The Padres called me twice and texted me all throughout the day," he said. "I was talking with my adviser about it. He was giving me info and telling me that it would probably happen."

It happened, all right. San Diego picked the speedy left-handed-hitting center fielder in the 34th round.

If the all-state wide receiver hadn't signed a national letter of intent to play football for Iowa, Marchese said he was hearing he would have been selected between rounds 1-5.

On Tuesday, when rounds 3-10 took place, the Kansas City Royals called him.

"They asked what it was going to take and I gave them my number," Marchese said. "They didn't take that risk. So I slipped to Day 3 and the Padres got me."

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Marchese put together a senior season for Stevenson that included a .485 batting average, 5 home runs and 30 stolen bases. He compared his situation to Evan Skoug's in 2014.

Skoug was an all-state catcher for Libertyville who turned down a seven-figure signing bonus to honor his letter of intent with Texas Christian University. Like Marchese, Skoug went in the 34th round. The Washington Nationals selected Skoug, who remained committed to TCU.

This week, Skoug was selected by the White Sox in the seventh round. He's playing in the College World Series for the third year in a row.

"Evan Skoug and I had like the same thing, basically," Marchese said. "Since I was going to Iowa for football, no team matched my number because they didn't want to take that risk (of potentially not being able to sign him)."

Marchese's next choice won't necessarily be easy.

While no team is likely to offer a 34th-rounder anywhere close to a seven-figure signing bonus, Marchese, his adviser and his family still will review all options.

"Obviously the last 24 hours have been crazy," Marchese said Thursday. "I'm going to take it day by day and see what's best."

Since reporting to Iowa, Marchese said he has been getting a new nickname daily. He has been called "Hank," "Hen" and "Keys," among other things.

"You can say my last name 200 different ways," said Marchese, pronounced Mar-CASE.

His nickname Thursday?

"Padre."

"They're all cool about it," Marchese said of the Iowa football staff's reaction to him being drafted. "They're all happy for me."

If Marchese stays at Iowa for his freshman year, he said it's possible that he would play football and baseball for the Hawkeyes. He first has to see what the Padres offer him.

"I'm in a unique situation," he said, "and I'm excited about both (options)."

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