The final round of eight of the College World Series kicks off this weekend, and while all but one of the teams will end up going home without the hardware, a few of the members of their teams will likely one day be going with a million-dollar bonus. Here’s who has some helium for the 2012 MLB draft, broken down by team. Here’s part three…
The Longhorns produce more big-leaguers than almost any other NCAA program, and next year will be no different. While there won’t be any players of Taylor Jungmann’s caliber, there will be a decent group of veterans, led by RHP Hoby Milner.
Milner was one of the Longhorn’s hardest working players this season, making nine starts and 21 relief appearances. He finished third on the team with seven victories and notched an impressive 2.53 ERA. He struck out 60 in 81.2 innings. His first appearance this season came in the form of an early season start in which he struck out ten in eight-innings, while his most recent outing came in the form of 1.1 scoreless innings of relief in a regional-clinching victory over Kent State.
Milner also excelled out of the bullpen in 2010, posting an ERA under 2.00 and about one strikeout per inning. The scrawny (6-2, 165) left-hander was drafted back in 2009 by the Nationals in the 44th-round. Milner seems like a good bet to move into the rotation full-time in 2012, although his professional future will likely be pitching out of the bullpen unless he puts on some more bulk.
Sophomore RHP Josh Urban is another solid bet to end up getting drafted, most likely earlier than his 19th-round selection by Pittsburgh back in 2009. He only made 13 appearances this season, but was solid, striking out 23 batters in 17 innings, while posting a 2.65 ERA. He too figures to get some more time on the mound as a good chunk of the Longhorns bullpen was drafted this season.
Urban has more prototypical size at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and seems like a better bet to make the jump to starting.
OF Cohl Walla was supposed to be a breakout star this year, but instead he finished the season very poorly, with a .231 average, zero home runs and only 18 RBI in 49 games. He struck out way too much (40 K in 143 ABs) and stole only three bases all season. Last year he showed much more potential, hitting .316 with 12 doubles, eight homers, 41 RBI and 14 steals.
Walla is very athletic and will no doubt go higher than his 43rd-round selection back in ’09, but if he doesn’t have a strong bounce-back season in 2012, he won’t have much of a future as anything other than an organizational player.
With rising sophomore Jacob Felts likely to stick behind the plate, it’s going to be tough for INF Jonathan Walsh to find regular playing time, likely limiting his exposure, but he as a strong, powerful swing and some impressive raw power. He could be an interesting prospect that gets a late look.