Kaepernick's former baseball prospects

December 12, 2012, 5:30 pm
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Patrick Mooney

If this late-season fade continues, Bears fans might remember Colin Kaepernick’s star turn on “Monday Night Football” as a tipping point toward major changes at Halas Hall.

But in an alternate universe, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback actually could have been a piece of the puzzle at Clark and Addison.

Tim Wilken watched parts of that 32-7 beatdown at Candlestick Park. (To be honest, he’s more of a Green Bay Packers fan.) He may not have been totally tuned in on Nov. 19, but those text messages would keep popping up on his phone: There’s your boy!

That’s an exaggeration, because the scouting director only had a fuzzy vision of what Kaepernick might become when the Cubs picked him in the 43rd round of the 2009 draft. National crosschecker Sam Hughes – whose buddies in Reno helped tip him off about the University of Nevada quarterback – has gotten similar reactions.

“I’ve been getting hit up by the Bay Area writers,” Hughes said. “They’re all like disappointed that I’ve actually never seen him throw a baseball.”

Standing in the main lobby of Nashville’s Opryland Hotel last week, Hughes smiled and laughed at the kind of stories told during the winter meetings.

There were reports that Kaepernick had an easy delivery and threw 92 mph at Pitman High School in Turlock, Calif., which is about two hours inland from San Francisco. He was listed at 6-foot-6, 180 pounds on MLB.com’s draft database, while the NFL’s website now has him at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. Whatever the frame, the Cubs saw upside as a potential pitcher, not a franchise quarterback.