Photo Credit: WSU Cougars Baseball
With the 2012 MLB Draft happening last week, its time to recap all the Coug ball players that were drafted. A total of five (Cougar) players were drafted. Even though five players drafted from one team is great, you have to understand that the MLB Draft is fourty rounds. Yes I said it, FOURTY ROUNDS, which is significantly more than the drafts of the NFL (7 Rounds) and NBA (2 Rounds) combined. The reason for so many rounds in the MLB Draft is because of the four levels of baseball every organization has. (Single-A, Double- A, Triple-A, and Major League). Being selected in the top ten rounds of the MLB Draft is similar to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds of the NFL Draft. All these players selected that high in the (MLB) draft are solid prospects that can make an impact for an organization in three to five years, even more or less depending on the situation of each organization.
Here is a list of each player selected in the 2012 MLB draft from Washington State University:
Junior (RS) Taylor Ard- 7th Round (221 pick) Seattle Mariners
The All-Pac 12 First Baseman was the fifth first baseman selected in the 2012 draft. This is the third time Ard was drafted. (2011: 25th Round- Boston Red Sox, 2010: The then-Florida Marlins). What a jump he made from the 25th round all the way to the 7th round. Taylor Ard is a redshirt Junior which means he could return to Pullman for his senior year and boost his draft stock even more, but after listening to Ard talk with Kevin Calabro on 710 ESPN Radio, the Junior seems set on signing with the Mariners. Avoiding the risk of injury or even having a bad senior year which could affect his draft stock in a negative way. Plus Ard mentioned he already got his degree, and now wants to move on to a bigger stage. In his junior year at WSU, Ard batted .332 with 12 home runs, 5o RBI, and had a .577 slugging percentage (3rd in Pac-12).
Here are a few highlights of Taylor Ard his sophomore year at Wazzu:
Senior Derek Jones - 8th Round (258 pick) Colorado Rockies
Last year Jones was drafted in the 13th Round, but decided to return for his senior year and improved his draft stock from the 13th to the 8th round. His senior year, Jones batted .335 with 9 homeruns, 45 RBI and was 11 for 13 in stolen bases. The Right Fielder’s slugging percentage was .574 (4th in the Pac-12), just behind teammate Taylor Ard. He was named All Pac-12 honoree his senior year (2012). A quick fact from Jones’ career was when he was freshman he tied the Washington State Freshman Home Run Record with 12. Jones was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
Here is a video of Jones his Junior Year hitting a bomb:
Senior Tommy Richards - 24th Round (732 pick) Baltimore Orioles
This is the first time Richards was selected in the draft, and being a senior he will sign with the Orioles and pursue his dreams of playing in the MLB. The Second Baseman batted .289, with 59 hits, 2 homeruns, and had 24 RBI. His slugging percentage was also .373. Richards was known for his fielding at Wazzu; having a .983 fielding percentage his last year.
A small interview of Richards:
Senior Kyle Johnson - 25th Round (777 pick) Los Angeles Angels
Johnson led the Pac-12 in stolen bases with 17 his senior year at Wazzu. He hit safely in 24 of his last 30 games and had 11 multi-hit games. The center fielder batted .309 with 47 hits, three triples and had 15 RBI. Apparently the San Francisco Giants, Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, and Milwaukee Brewers also showed interest in Johnson.
Senior Patrick Claussen – 34th Round (1037 pick) Miami Marlins
The last Cougar drafted in the 2012 MLB Draft. His senior year, Claussen batted .301 with 17 doubles (tied 7th in the Pac-12). The 3rd baseman/outfielder had 59 hits and drove in 20 runs his final season at Washington State University.
–Evan Baron (@BaselineBaron09)