The 2019 Oklahoma baseball season is over, but for four Sooners selected in this week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, a new chapter may be just beginning.
Junior right-handed pitcher Nathan Wiles was the first Sooner selected in this year’s draft, going in the eighth round, the 248th player taken overall, to the Tampa Bay Rays. Junior closer Jason Ruffcorn was selected in the 18th round, junior pitcher Braidyn Fink in the 19th round and senior infielder Brylie Ware’s name was called in the 23rd round.
Ruffcorn was the 534th overall player selected, by the Cincinnati Reds. Fink was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 581st overall selection, and Ware was the 695th player taken in this year’s draft, a 23rd round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Wiles posted an 8-4 record as a Sooner starter this season with an ERA of 4.40 in 94 innings. He has made 37 career starts for Oklahoma, winning 19 and losing 11.
Ruffcorn led the Big 12 with 11 saves this season. That ranks fifth all-time in OU baseball history. He was 2-2 in 2019 with an ERA of 2.43, and he posted 22 scoreless outings.
Fink did not play in 2019 because of an injury. A year earlier, he mad 28 appearances, all in relief, and posted a 1.71 ERA with 28 strikeouts and a .205 opponents’ batting average.
Ware finished his career at Oklahoma with a .310 batting average. He is the 41st OU player to have at least 110 hits, 100 runs scored and 100 runs driven in. He was an All-Big 12 selection in all three of his years at OU.
Another Oklahoma player, left-handed starting pitcher Ben Abram, also made news this week. Abram was named to the Freshman All-America Team by Collegiate Baseball. Abram finished with a 4-2 record and a 4.24 ERA in his first season in a Sooner uniform. He is the sixth Oklahoma Freshman All-America selection in the last six seasons.
Oklahoma has had at least one player selected in the MLB Draft every year since 1970 and 276 Sooners taken overall since 1967.