|photo by John Lembo|
After putting the wraps on his final season quarterbacking Manatee's football team, Sandberg, a senior, is now readying himself for baseball.
It's a big year - Sandberg is considered a top prospect and could be a high pick during summer's amateur baseball draft, and he has already earned an invite to work out for the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie during the first weekend in January.
During the football season, Sandberg said he worked out a few times at The Sandlot @ 5 Tools, a baseball facility in downtown Bradenton operated by Manatee baseball coach Dwayne Strong.
"The past couple of years, I didn't really do any baseball during the football season," Sandberg said. "But this year is a little different."
A centerfielder, Sandberg is trying to get his arm back in baseball shape after spending the last four months throwing a football.
"It's different arm motions," he said. "Football is a quick release. With baseball, I'm trying to get long and get some carry on the ball."
Sandberg had a meet-and-greet with the Tampa Bay Rays and has also had visits with the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks. It's nothling like college football recruiting, which the Mississippi State commit knows well.
"College football, the coaches are coming in and telling you what they have and trying to get you to go there," Sandberg said. "With this, I have no say where I'm going. It's going to be kind of exciting when draft day comes, not knowing where I'm going to be for the next couple of years.
"I'd be glad to be part of any major league organization."