The Cougs and this week's MLB draft

The Cougs and this week's MLB draft

THE FICKLE nature of baseball's annual summer draft was demonstrated once again when Scout.com tabbed outfielder Ben Roberts to be the first Washington State Cougar selected this week, at No. 265, but Baseball America magazine failed to mention Roberts among its top 500 draft prospects.

Outfielder Yale Rosen, at No. 273, was the only other Cougar included in the 291 players Scout ranked in specific order. Scout predicts third baseman Nick Tanielu and pitcher Tanner Chleborad will be drafted later in the top 10 rounds.

Rosen (pictured above) was Baseball America's top choice among Cougars at No. 302. BA pegged Chleborad at No. 325 and Tanielu at No. 427.

Roberts, a redshirt sophomore from Missoula, Mont., hit .289 with one home run and 21 RBIs in 50 games. Tanielu, a redshirt sophomore from Federal Way, led the Cougars with a .340 batting average (sixth in the Pac-12 Conference), 16 doubles (tied for third in the Pac-12) and 33 RBIs. The all-conference player hit one home run in 53 games. Rosen, a junior from Oak Harbor, hit .294 with 28 RBIs and a team-high five home runs in 54 games. He made all-conference honorable mention.

Chleborad, a junior from Rapid City, S.D., compiled a 4-7 record with a 3.84 earned run average in 15 games (all starts). In 89 innings, he gave up 96 hits, struck out 54 and walked 21.

The draft begins Thursday with the first two rounds and supplemental rounds. On Friday, rounds three through 10 unfold, followed by 11 through 50 on Saturday when the draft concludes.

Other Cougars who may be drafted include pitchers J.D. Leckenby (injured all season) and Joe Pistorese, shortstop Trace Tam Sing and outfielder-catcher Collin Slaybaugh. Jason Monda, once a highly regarded outfielder prospect, has said he intends to enter medical school and not play professionally.

Slaybaugh today was named the Pac-12 Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, marking the fourth time in the last seven years that a Cougar has earned the honor. He owns a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Earlier this week, Slaybaugh and Monda were named first-team Pac-12 All-Academic, while sophomore Matt Mendenhall was selected to the second team and junior Sam Triece received honorable mention. A week ago, Slaybaugh was named second-team Academic All-American by CoSIDA for the second time.

NOTABLE:

  • Cougar closer Ian Hamilton today was named a 2014 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, WSU announced. The Vancouver, Wash., saved a school-record 15 games this season to lead the Pac-12 and tie for the national lead among freshmen with Bryan Garcia of Miami (Fla.). Hamilton appeared in 28 games and posted a 2-2 record with a 2.70 ERA. He is the first Cougar since outfielder Derek Jones in 2009 to earn a spot on a freshman All-America team.

  • One of WSU's most famous contributions to Major League Baseball, six-time All-Star and 1981 World Series co-MVP Ron Cey, has advanced to the final four of SWX-TV's fan-chosen quest to crown the greatest player ever to play professional baseball in Spokane. In 1971, Cey hit .328 and belted 32 home runs and 112 RBI for the Dodgers' AAA team in Spokane. He's in a head-to-head bracket battle this week with Steve Garvey. The winner will take on either Carlos Beltran or Ian Kinsler. To cast your vote, CLICK HERE.

  • Former Washington State pitcher Taylor Williams has been selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star Game on June 17. He owns a 2-1 record with a 3.51 earned run average in 11 games with the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of Appleton.
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