Matt Farnum knew he had to prepare for life after baseball, but he didn’t know what that would involve. Still, the 2000 Dakota Ridge High School graduate knew he had a solid support system and a solid foundation beneath him.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-handed pitcher also knew that his immediate future after graduation was going to be in college and, in all likelihood, a stint in professional baseball.
Drafted out of high school in the 44th round by the Colorado Rockies, Farnum had already made up his mind to go to college. He was going to Texas A&M to work on a bachelor of science degree in economics. Two years later, the Toronto Blue Jays came calling in the 24th round.
“It was a tougher decision after my sophomore year to go back the next year. I just had to make a good decision,” Farnum said. “I thought that I would be able to finish my degree. I would be closer to that. I had roots in College Station. I enjoyed being there. So it wasn’t that hard of a decision.”
The next year, he was drafted in the seventh round — the 196th selection overall — by the Texas Rangers.
He spent five seasons in the Rangers’ organization, making it in 2007 with Double-A Frisco, where he went 3-2 with a 4.50 earned-run average in 15 appearances. He spent time in Spokane, Wash., Clinton, Iowa, Frisco, Texas, and Bakersfield, Calif. Though Farnum showed some promise early in his career, going 5-1 with a 2.39 ERA in his rookie season of 2003 with the Low-A Spokane Indians, he was destined to be a minor leaguer for life.
“I remember the Rangers kind of pulled me aside, and they were honest with me that, more or less, Double-A baseball might be where it’s at for me. They wanted to let me know,” Farnum said. “That’s fine. I’m happy that they gave me the opportunity.”
He had one semester left to finish his master’s degree in kinesiology at Texas A&M before deciding to move back to Colorado to start the next chapter of his life. His career was over with a 20-17 record and a 4.11 ERA.
Nowadays, the 32-year-old Farnum is a strategic consultant for provider development at Humana, a health care insurance management company. Based in Denver, Farnum travels the western United States as a contractor dealing primarily with hospitals. Farnum intends to return to college on a part-time basis in the fall at the University of Colorado Denver to earn a master’s degree in business administration.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.