It’s been no secret that the rebuilt Braves scouting staff, led by Brian Bridges, loves two-sport athletes. Usually, that descriptor is applied to high schoolers who play multiple sports en route to being drafted in June. This time, however, it looks like that has extended not to a high schooler, but to a former Georgia product that appeared in two NFL games as a free safety before injuries derailed his football career.
Sources: #Braves signing OF Sanders Commings to minor-league deal. Former DB w/University of Georgia, Kansas City Chiefs. From Augusta, Ga.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 23, 2017
The 26-year-old Commings was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, but managed to appear in just two NFL games, as a collarbone fracture and an ankle injury that required surgery kept him out of game action. He was waived by the Chiefs in 2015, and did not latch on with another team.
Since then, as reported by MLB.com’s David Adler, Commings has worked out with former MLB player Jerry Hairston Jr., and his dream of returning to the baseball diamond for the first time since high school is going to be fulfilled by the Braves (albeit at the minor league level!). Given his NFL background, Commings is likely a gifted athlete, but will be very raw and will have a lot of catching up to do, given his lack of baseball experience. When he last played baseball, in high school, he was an outfielder for Westside High in Augusta.
Most notable for me is that the Braves picked up Deion Sanders, also a defensive back / outfielder, for their worst-to-first 1991 campaign. (Sanders was not particularly good in that 1991 season.) This time around, they’ve loaded up with Sanders Commings, perhaps priming themselves for another worst-to-first run in 2017?
Well, probably not. But still, an interesting story to follow as Spring Training and the season progress.