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Monroe opts for Southern Illinois University
By Marty Maciaszek | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/19/2009 12:01 AM

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The choices were Southern Illinois or the South Side for Grant Monroe.

The former Schaumburg High School star pitcher had to weigh a college scholarship with the Salukis against a professional contract offer by the White Sox. They selected Monroe in the 46th round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft in June.

The deadline was Monday night and Monroe went with staying in college and heading to Southern Illinois.

"It wasn't right, right now, and I decided it was a better decision to go to school and hopefully it will work out for next year," said Monroe, the honorary captain of the Daily Herald all-area baseball team for Cook County in 2007. "The White Sox made a pretty good offer that made me think a little bit, but for me I decided overall this would be a better decision."

Monroe had also been drafted in the 38th round by the White Sox after his senior year at Schaumburg. Monroe was 5-3 as a freshman at Duke and 6-2 this spring at Northwest Florida State Community College.

Monroe, whose dad Larry also pitched for the White Sox and is their adviser to the baseball department, said he was also considering Michigan State, Northern Illinois and Miami (Ohio) before choosing Southern Illinois.

"It's definitely in a good conference (Missouri Valley) and coach (Dan) Callahan definitely has a record for himself," Monroe said. "I've heard a lot of great things about him from my dad and other scouts.

"Overall it seemed like the best fit for me as far as school and baseball and everything I was looking for."

Monroe said another factor was a chance to pitch at the top of the rotation in weekend conference games. Monroe pitched this summer for the Lombard Orioles in the Chicago Suburban Baseball League and his fastball was consistently around 87-88 mph.

"I've been getting the ball to sink when I need to," Monroe said. "The main thing is getting that more consistent velocity as well as being comfortable with throwing all four pitches when I have to, especially when I'm behind in the count."