Several Sooner Baseball Players on MLB Draft Week Watch


Every month in the spring offers a new professional sports draft, and this week its Major League Baseball’s turn. Several OU Sooner baseball players will get a good look in the 2015 MLB first-year player draft, which takes place Monday through Wednesday this week.

Four former Sooners were selected in the MLB draft held a year ago, and  coach Pete Hughes is optimistic that at least that many from this year’s 34-27 squad will draw interest from major league teams and have their numbers called over the next couple of days.

Three pitchers – left-handers Adam Choplick and Jacob Evans and right-hander Ralph Garza, Jr. – along with outfielder Craig Aiken and infielder Kolby Carpenter are the best bets on this year’s team to go in the draft. All are juniors in terms of their collegiate eligibility.

Mar 1, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aiken and Carpenter were two of the Sooners’ top offensive weapons this past season. Aiken, who played center field the last three years for OU, finished in the top 10 in the Big 12 this season in batting average (.340), hits, runs scored and doubles.

Carpenter was the Sooners’ primary second baseman this season. He led the team in batting and was second in the Big 12 with a .360 average through all games. He was second in the conference in hits, third in runs scored and tied for fourth in home runs.

Choplick was one of the Sooners’ weekend starters this season. He made 30 starts, finished with a 9-8 record and a 4.58 ERA. Garza appeared mostly in relief. He made 84 appearances in three seasons, with a career ERA of 4.28.

Evans has been the team’s closer the past couple of seasons. He made 28 appearances in 2015, posted a team-leading nine saves along with a 1.67 ERA.

Although none of the top-five 2015 Sooner prospects of are expected to go in the early rounds, Oklahoma has produced first-round selections in the past – two in the previous six seasons and 18 since 1965, the first year of Major League Baseball’s first-year player or amateur draft.

RHP Jonathan Gray was the No. 1 pick of the Colorado Rockies and the third player taken overall in the 2013 MLB draft. Four years before that, right-handed starter Garrett Richards was the opening-round selection of the Los Angeles Angels and is one of the Angels’ starters this season.

More from Stormin in Norman

Oklahoma led the Big 12 in number of baseball draft selections in two of the previous six drafts. Nine Sooners were drafted in 2009, and a program-high 11 were taken in the 2011 MLB draft, good for second best among all college programs.

Sixty-three former Oklahoma Sooners have been selected in the MLB draft in the past 10 years. All-time, a total of 66 individuals who played baseball at Oklahoma have been fortunate enough to play in the major leagues.