The run of TCU pitchers continued into the late afternoon Saturday, as some time started Rex Hill (27th round, Royals) and ace reliever Preston Guillory (31th round, Marlins) both were taken in the 2016 MLB Draft. Hill, a junior transfer out of San Jacinto College, has spent just one season with the Frogs. After beginning the year as the Sunday starter, Hill settled into the role as a reliable Tuesday night starter as well as coming out of the pen when needed. Possessing swing and miss stuff, the 6'3" lefty struggled with control and the big inning in his first year of DI ball, but pitched well late in the year and in the postseason when given the chance. Hill was 2-3 with 11 starts, a 5.91 ERA, and 18 walks in 45.2 innings. He also made two appearances out of the bullpen, and showed ability, as noted by his 45 strikeouts. It's hard to say that Hill is likely to leave at this point, but the one time Aggie (how has that storyline not been played out?) and JC transfer is likely without a spot in the rotation going forward, and could leave for the greener pastures and experience of the big leagues.
Preston Guillory is the lone senior to be drafted this year, and as such, will be heading off to the minor leagues at the close of TCU's season. A 6'3" righty, Guillory came to the Frogs by way of Panola College, where he was an all-conference selection as a sophomore. In his first year at TCU, Guillory earned Schlossnagle's confidence early, and as such was given plenty of opportunities to contribute. With an impossibly small 0.34 ERA in 26.1 innings, Guillory was a big part of a TCU pitching staff that dominated the conference and led the Frogs to Omaha for a second straight time. In his senior year, his numbers came back to earth, as he posted a 4.66 ERA in 27 appearances, though he did have 32 strikeouts in his 38.2 innings pitched, and accumulated the third most innings of anyone in the bullpen over the course of 2016.
Also picked on Saturday is Frog third baseman Elliot Barzilli, who made the corner his home after splitting time around the diamond last season. After getting off to a ridiculous start in 2016, the So Cal native and Georgia Tech transfer cooled off considerably as the season progressed, but remained one of the most consistent hitters in the lineup on his way to a .358 average that included 27 extra base hits. He also flashed a big arm and a good feel for third base defensively; though he did have nine errors, he improved throughout the season and became more comfortable in his role.
Barzilli has a flair for the dramatic; it was his hit in the bottom of the tenth inning that scored the game-winning run for the Frogs in the Fort Worth Regional championship a season ago. He also plated the winning runs against Gonzaga in the second game of this year's Regional, and has provided many highlight moments throughout his junior season. The question for Barzilli will be, has he shown enough to the MLB, especially defensively, to have a real shot of moving through the system with speed. Picked by the Astros in the 29th round, another season at TCU, with the protection of the big bats of Evan Skoug and Luken Baker, could help him raise his stock and improve his position in regards to his pro prospects. If he does return, he will be the cornerstone on the field and in the dugout for a squad that will have serious national championship aspirations.
The decisions for Hill and Barzilli can wait though, there are much bigger things to occupy their minds today.