The dream of every kid that picks up a baseball bat is to have an opportunity to play professional baseball. Five TCU Baseball players took the next step in that dream, being selected in 2022 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Riley Cornelio, Caleb Bolden, Marcelo Perez, Austin Krob, and Tommy Sacco all heard their names called this week.
Players with remaining eligibility will have until the August signing deadline to decide whether to begin their path to The Show or return to TCU for a run to Omaha in 2023. Of the five Frogs selected, two had already exhausted college eligibility (Bolden, Sacco), while the other three (Cornelio, Krob, Perez) will have a decision to make over the next few weeks. Congrats to these great Horned Frogs and their bright future ahead!
Riley Cornelio, RHP - Washington Nationals - Round 7, Pick 201
The Horned Frogs’ 2022 top-line starter was also its first player claimed in the MLB Draft. At 6’3” 195 lbs, Cornelio has ideal size and athleticism to pair with his electric stuff on the mound. With a 2:1 K:BB ratio for his collegiate career, Cornelio was a strikeout king, with a K in almost one-quarter of all batters faced and opponents hitting just .214 off the right-hander. Cornelio did struggle with extra-base hits in 2022, surrendering 13 dingers and 11 doubles contributing to a 4.68 ERA and 4-5 record for the season. He follows in the footsteps of Student Assistant and former TCU superstar Matt Purke to the Nationals, who was drafted to Washington in the 3rd Round of the 2011 draft.
Caleb Bolden, RHP - Boston Red Sox - Round 7, Pick 219
The 2nd Horned Frog came off the board just a few picks later as the grad-transfer reliever is shipped up to Boston. Bolden was a big contributor for the Frogs out of the bullpen throughout the regular season, entering in tough spots and working many shut-down innings. He produced 14 multi-strikeout games and 12 shutout games in his 23 appearances. Bolden will team up with former Frog closer Durbin Feltman, who was drafted into the Red Sox organization 100th overall in 2018.
Marcelo Perez, RHP - Seattle Mariners - Round 11, Pick 336
The opening round of Day 3 of the MLB draft saw another Horned Frog pitcher selected, as the TCU reliever-turned-starter was picked by Seattle. Perez was strong out of the bullpen, but once given starting opportunities midway into the 2022 season, his skills began to truly shine. His breakout was tossing 5 shutout innings with 6 Ks in a win over #4 Texas Tech. Among regular Frog starters, Perez sported the lowest ERA, WHIP, and opponent Batting Average.
Austin Krob, LHP- San Diego Padres - Round 12, Pick 360
Another round and another TCU pitcher selected, as the skilled southpaw starter heads to Southern California. Krob was hampered with injury for much of the 2022 season, but he returned with a fury in the post season, including a pure gem as the starter vs. Texas A&M in the College Station Regional, amassing 8 Ks before exiting the game in the 6th inning. That game was a clear display of the nasty arsenal he brings to the mound, which could put him on a quick path the the big leagues if he can stay healthy.
Tommy Sacco, SS - Houston Astros - Round 14, Pick 433
The straw that stirred the drink for everything the Frogs did - hitting, running, defense, leadership - Sacco will get a chance to stay in Texas. Starting 60 games at shortstop, Sacco only committed 6 errors on the season (.975 fielding %). Sacco exploded with the bat in his hand in 2022, showing massive improvement in all categories: blasting 14 homers while hitting .355 with a .443 OBP and swiping 18 bags. He was everything you could ask for in a baseball player; it will be exciting to see what he can do at the next level.
As TCU Baseball awaits the decision of those with remaining eligibility, Kirk Saarloos and crew have been working to bring in new talent via recruiting and the transfer portal to add depth and plug any holes that may remain. Top-75 prospect SS Anthony SIlva pulled out of the MLB Draft to join TCU as a true freshman, further boosting a strong recruiting class. This adds to a transfer class featuring former Baylor infielder Tre Richardson and a fresh stable of big arms for the pitching staff. The Horned Frogs should be well positioned for 2023 and beyond