Versatile Bratsen loves the Aggies

Showcase : : Story
Jim Ecker        
Published: Friday, July 03, 2009

If Krey Bratsen goes to college next year instead of playing professional baseball, he’ll undoubtedly enroll at Texas A&M. His father went to Texas A&M and played baseball for the Aggies, his mother went to school there, and the family lives in Bryan, Texas, just a few minutes from the A&M campus.

Bratsen is an Aggie, through and through, and already has made a commitment to the Texas A&M baseball program, but there’s a lingering question: Would he play just one sport at Texas A&M and focus entirely on baseball, or would he dabble in football as well? He’s extremely fast, which makes him a terrific center fielder, but it also makes him a terrific wide receiver. On top of that, he’s an outstanding punter with a strong leg, making him a very valuable guy.

So, would Bratsen play both sports at A&M?

“I would think he would have the option,” said Jim “Bear” Bratsen, his father and a former Aggie. “I do know that the A&M football coaches are interested in him.”

So are the football coaches at LSU, Rice, Houston and Arizona State, not to mention some of the top college baseball coaches in the country, but Bratsen has given his word to the Aggies. He plans to play football for the Bryan High School Vikings again this fall as a senior, after he finishes a busy summer of baseball that will include the Aflac High School All-American Classic in San Diego on Aug. 16, and he’ll sort it out later.

Bratsen knows he’ll have a decision to make if he enrolls at Texas A&M, but isn’t worried about it yet. “I’m still not sure what I want to do,” he told Perfect Game. “I think it (playing both sports) would be pretty exciting.”

Make no mistake, though. Baseball is his first love. “I’ve just always enjoyed playing it,” he said.

Bratsen, a 6-foot, 165-pound speedster, has a strong arm and fast feet. He was timed in 6.36 seconds in the 60-yard dash at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis this June and undoubtedly would have been one of the top sprinters in Texas if he’d had the time to pursue the sport. “They asked me to run track, but it didn’t work out,” he said.

Baseball and football have been enough.

“He’s a tremendous kicker and punter, and he may be one of the best wide receivers in the entire state,” said his father, who spent two years in pro baseball before an injury shortened his career. “He’s got all the tools, but we just don’t throw (the football) that much. He’s got a lot of athletic ability and a lot of options.”

Bratsen will probably have an opportunity to play pro baseball after he graduates from high school in 2010, depending on what happens in next year’s draft. One thing is for sure: If he plays baseball in college, it will be at Texas A&M, because he loves the school and would like to follow in his father’s footsteps. That fact was drummed home when the Bratsens visited the baseball locker room at A&M and Krey saw his father’s name on a sign in the room.

“He looked up there and said it sure would be nice to have my name up there with yours,” Bear Bratsen remarked. “That meant a lot to me. That made me feel great.”
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