Feb. 16, 2013; Pullman, WA, USA; A couple of Washington State Cougars students cheer against Oregon Ducks during the first half at the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Even though the WSU baseball team did not have the season they expected, which resulted in a 23-32 record this year, this program does have something to tip their hats to as three WSU baseball players were selected in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Juniors J.D. Leckenby and Adam Nelubowich along with red-shirt sophomore Trace Tam Sing all have to make one of the toughest decisions of their lives; choose to sign with their “new” baseball team or return to Pullman for another year to make at least one more run to make 2014 a special year for Cougar baseball. Either way this is a big win for the Cougars as it shows how well groomed this baseball program is in Pullman.
J.D. Leckenby who is a right handed pitcher was drafted in the 14th round (416 overall pick) by the New York Mets. In 2012, Leckenby started 14 games for the Cougars and won four of them, but his struggles caused him to be bounced between the starting rotation and bullpen. The 6’4” pitcher is known for throwing the sinkerball, and if he can use it to good use in the minors or next year for the Cougars he’ll have a bright future.
Adam Nelubowich was drafted as a third baseman in the 18th round (527 overall pick) by the Houston Astros. At WSU, Nelubowich spent time playing outfield and third base and batted .299 for the Cougars last season. Nelubowich also hit three home runs and 34 runs batted in. With Houston being one of the worst teams in the MLB, Nelubowich could get an opportunity to play in the big leagues sooner than players who are drafted by upper echelon teams. However the Cougars could use his bat in 2014 and he would have the opportunity to boost his draft stock in next year’s draft as well.
Trace Tam Sing was selected in the 26th round (774th overall pick) by the Kansas City Royals. Sing batted .280 for the Cougars and drove in 17 runs last season. With two years left of eligibility left for Sing, I would imagine him to stay at WSU to improve his hitting. After watching a couple games last season (2012) I noticed that Sing is a great defensive player, and a leader for the Cougars. Though the Kansas City Royals are known for having one of the best farm systems in MLB, which could help Sing become a better ball player. It’s a “win-win” situation for Sing on whatever route he chooses to go with his future.
–Evan Baron (Follow Me On Twitter: @BaselineBaron09)