The scouts told Joe Koshansky he would be a first baseman, and he didn't care to disagree. It didn't matter that he finished his University of Virginia pitching career tied for the most starts and the most wins in school history, and it didn't matter that he wasn't an everyday position player until his junior season.
Having listened in vain for his name throughout the 2003 Major League Baseball first-year player draft, Koshansky, 22, wasn't about to get picky.
"They told me my future was going to be in hitting, but I really didn't worry about that," said the 2000 All-Met from Chantilly High. "I would have gone either way -- I just wanted to get picked up."
After earning ACC player of the year honors as a senior, batting .302 with a team-high 16 home runs and 67 RBI while amassing an 8-3 record on the mound, Koshansky got his wish. He was taken in the sixth round of this year's draft by the Colorado Rockies and told to pack his bags for Pasco, Wash., meriting an Internet search by Koshansky, who had never been farther west than New Mexico.
Because of limited plate appearances in his first two years at Virginia -- only 60 at-bats -- Koshansky acknowledged he has room for improvement as a hitter. He said he is still compiling information on situations and counts, still struggling to limit his strikeouts and adjust to professional pitching.
But despite a .239 average through Friday, Koshansky leads the less advanced Class A Tri-City Dust Devils with 12 home runs and 17 doubles. He said the ball seems to take off from his wooden bats as quickly as it did from his metal bats in college.
His goal is to advance one level of minor league baseball a year, along the way finding time to complete his economics degree at Virginia. And just in case, Koshansky occasionally breaks out a two-seam fastball or a curveball during pregame warmups.
"If we get in a blowout and they want me to throw an inning," he said, "I'd be more than happy to."