Sean Barksdale won't be trading his spikes for slippers, but a thought keeps bouncing around in his head.

The other day, while anxiously awaiting baseball's first-year player draft, he spent some time on MLB.com and came across a story detailing last year's Cinderella stories.

"I think that could be me," he said.

Let the ball begin.

Barksdale, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior outfielder from Temple by way of Cardinal O'Hara High, yesterday went to the Houston Astros in the 38th round (No. 1,151). In the just- completed season, he hit .371 with 15 homers and 56 RBI in 48 games, and was named the Big 5 Player of the Year.

Barksdale recently flew to Houston for a special workout and launched "four or five" homers out of Minute Maid Park.

"I left there with a good feeling," he said. "I was hoping they liked me. I didn't know what was going to happen. No one really tells you anything. You're thinking maybe in the teens or 20s, then you wind up in the 38th. I'm OK with it. It's all the same. You're still getting a chance."

Barksdale said a scout intends to visit his Glenolden home on Saturday to work out contract details.

"On to the next level," he said. "I'm getting my chance. I'm ready to go anywhere." *

- Ted Silary