TCU pitcher Brandon Finnegan was the 17th player selected Thursday in the first round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player draft. The Kansas City Royals took Finnegan, who was drafted for the second time. The Texas Rangers took him in the 45th round out of Fort Worth Southwest High School in 2011 but he chose to attend TCU.
A year after finishing seventh in its first Big 12 baseball season, TCU stands only two wins away from the College World Series.
The last time TCU made it to the NCAA Super Regionals the Horned Frogs were playing their last games as a member of the Mountain West Conference.
In 1974, the first aluminum bats were introduced to college baseball. And a loud, tradition-shattering ping was heard throughout the sport. In 2011, citing safety concerns, the NCAA rules committee removed whatever fun was left in the college bat.
TCU placed a league-high four players on the first-team defense: defensive tackle Chucky Hunter, safety Sam Carter, safety Chris Hackett and defensive end Devonte Fields, an Arlington Martin graduate. Kickoff returner B.J. Catalon also received first-team acclaim for his special-teams efforts.
A year ago, the Waves practiced at TCU’s field in Fort Worth during a seven-game road trip in late February 2013. Pepperdine had just won two of three at Texas A&M and lost at Baylor before heading to Oklahoma for a three-game series in Norman, Okla., when they stopped at Lupton to practice.
Every year, TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle makes his best pitch to the high school kid who is torn between the desire to play pro baseball, take a guaranteed check, and attending school.
The Marlins chose Tyler Kolek, a massive 6-foot-5, 260-pound right-hander from Shepherd (Texas) High School. There was much speculation they would select North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon, a Cuban-American who grew up in Miami and was taken third by the Chicago White Sox.
"He's an extremely good athlete," Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said. "He's very strong. Very fast. Very good bat speed. Way above-average bat speed. He's got power. We think he can stay in the middle of the diamond on the infield, either short or second. He fits a lot of things. Really good athlete with baseball skills."