SOUTH BEND — Some baseball players find out they’ve been drafted while hanging out at home with family or friends.
Others might be fishing or hunting.
David Bote, a member of the Class A South Bend Cubs and a product of Faith Christian Academy in Arvada, Colo., and Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kan., was half a world away when the Chicago Cubs took him in the 18th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
After signing with Liberty University in Virginia, Bote transferred after a semester. He led Neosho County with a .420 batting average this spring as Panthers advanced to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., where he was named to the all-tournament team.
When the draft rolled around, Bote was on a short-term missions trip in Kenya. He found out about landing with the Cubs on the Internet.
“That was a pretty cool experience, to be away from everything,” Bote said. “I got to step back and say, ‘Wow, this is an opportunity I have to go and play professional baseball.’ It was a great feeling. I had people around me I love. I had a week to think about it. I got to sit back and kind of enjoy the moment.”
Since beginning his minor league journey, Bote has enjoyed being versatile. Generally a second baseman, third baseman and outfielder, he played six positions for the Cubs in spring training.
“I’m happy to fill that role,” Bote said. “Wherever they want me to be, just to help the team win and help the organization. I just want to take it as it comes.
“With this team there are a lot of guys who can play multiple positions. The lineup may morph and change.”
“They push us to be the best,” Bote said. “We want to win the championship at every level and, ultimately, at Wrigley (Field for the Chicago Cubs).”
The South Bend Cubs are scheduled to wrap up a six-game road swing to Dayton and Fort Wayne Friday, April 17, and begin a six-game homestand against Great Lakes and Lake County on Saturday, April 18, at Four Winds Field.