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Baseball: Excitement builds for Boldt as MLB draft approaches

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The 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is fast approaching but the reality of getting selected is still sinking in for Red Wing senior Ryan Boldt and his family.

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"I guess we're kind of taking it as it comes and letting the cards fall where they may," Boldt said. "I don't know if I really have expectations that I've set for myself and for the draft," Boldt said. "Like I've been told many times, I'm in a win-win situation. Whether I choose to sign or whether I choose go to Nebraska, I'll be in a really good spot."

Boldt, a center fielder, injured his right knee during the first game of the Wingers' 2013 season while sliding into third base. After an attempt at rehabbing the injury proved ineffective, the Cornhuskers' recruit underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus.

"Like I've said to everyone before, I guess I didn't really know what to expect before my injury occurred and now I still don't really know what to expect after it occurred, if it affected it at all," Boldt said. "It's all kind of irrelevant now."

Boldt's rehab aims to regenerate leg muscles and range of motion. He has already hit the 90-degree range-of-motion plateau with his knee and is waiting for clearance to push further, he said.

"I've got to wait for everything to heal up before I can do that," Boldt said. "I'm just working on strengthening my quad and calf. ... I know that you've got to keep on it or else you're going to get behind and once you get behind it'll be hard to catch up."

He will head to Tria Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington Tuesday to meet with the doctor that performed his surgery. If everything is up to schedule, Ryan said he thinks he will be shedding his crutches at that point. From there, it's a continuation of getting back strength and motion.

"I think I will still be in a brace but I'll be able to put my weight on it," he said. "It all depends on what (the doctor) says when I go back up there on Tuesday."

With the draft approaching, Boldt has received numerous phone calls from scouts and teams in need of final information.

"They're asking me what I expect out of the draft and just last-minute stuff," Boldt said. "They just asked me about (my injury) and what I'm doing for rehab, what's the time table of when I'm going to be back."

After the injury, Boldt said he leaned on the help of his adviser group, the Legacy Sports Agency, and was provided with confidence that the injury will not impact his career. The Legacy Sports Agency is headed by super-agent Greg Genske.

"I obviously have a lot of questions I have to ask if scouts are calling me, like what I should say and how I should approach all of it," Boldt said. "They've been really helpful with everything so far and guiding me along with what I should do, what I should say. They said it from the beginning, they've obviously talked to my doctor too, and just saying that this is not an injury that's going to impact my career ahead of me. That's probably the No. 1 thing. Not like I wasn't already thinking that but they just kind of cemented that in my head."

As Boldt recovers, the first two rounds of the draft, along with two newly included Competitive Balances rounds, will take place Thursday, the same day as Red Wing High School's graduation rehearsal. Boldt was considered a first-round pick by many experts before his knee surgery and has slipped into the second round in some mock drafts. Boldt said he has not decided whether he will attend the rehearsal or stay home to watch the draft but either way, his phone will remain on.

"Any information that comes will come to him because the decision is his," Mitch Boldt, Ryan's father, said. "The advice that's been given is, 'Stay close to your phone and make sure it's charged.'"

Red Wing's graduation takes place Friday at Red Wing High School at 7 p.m. and Ryan's graduation party is also the same weekend. Mitch said when the family learned last fall that the draft and graduation coincided, they figured why not combine everything together.

"If you're going to be busy and it's going to be truly whirlwind, you might as well get it all done," Mitch said. "Everything will be determined at that point in time. ... It still really hasn't hit, not this weekend but next weekend it's going to rock and roll."

The family is still unsure of what will happen when the draft takes place, Mitch said. Teams are keeping all the information close to the vest and the year-long process will conclude within an hour or a day.

"At this point in time, we're still in limbo," Mitch said. "Everyone told us that you wouldn't know until the last minute and they weren't kidding because nobody left any information out until that name is called. We won't know right up until the last minute it would appear."

If Ryan slips past the first round, those in Minnesota might be eyeing the Minnesota Twins at the No. 43 pick. It would be a great story but with the Twins' bevy of outfield prospects, it will be interesting to see if they choose the hometown kid.

The first and second rounds will be broadcast on the MLB Network starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday while Friday and Saturday's rounds can be streamed on MLB.com starting at noon both days.

"I'm really excited just to see how everything turns out," Ryan said. "I'm really excited at the opportunity if it presents itself and I'm also really excited to get to Nebraska too. It's coming up pretty fast."

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Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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