Birch: Time is running out on former top draft pick Vitters’ career

From Tommy Birch at the Des Moines Register on June 8, 2017:

The No. 9 hitter for the Sioux City Explorers saunters to the batter’s box as cars whiz by on the highway beyond the outfield wall. 

The No. 9 hitter takes off his helmet and uses his arm to wipe sweat from his forehead. He adjusts his batting gloves, steps up to the plate and digs in with his right foot. He adjusts his helmet, taps his bat on the plate and sets himself for his first at-bat of the night.

The No. 9 hitter looks toward the pitcher and waits.

The first pitch comes in belly-button high. It’s the type of pitch that baseball’s mavens, just a few years ago, imagined this No. 9 hitter sending into the bleachers of Wrigley Field or onto Waveland Avenue.


The No. 9 hitter is Josh Vitters. Ten years ago this month, the Cubs made him the No. 3 overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft. He was taken seven spots ahead of future World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 9, 2017. Last Updated: June 9, 2017.