The Norman Transcript

June 11, 2013

Shinn extra: Sooner roster deep in pro baseball draftees

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma currently has 14 players signed for next season. Eight of them were selected in Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft.

Obviously, all of them will not make it to campus in August. However, Sooner coach Sunny Golloway doesn’t expect the class to change much because of the draft.

Two players — Leedey High School infielder Drew Ward and Alta Loma, Calif., pitcher Chris Kohler — were high picks. Ward was selected 105th overall in the third round by the Washington Nationals, is expected to sign a pro contract. Kohler was taken by the Oakland A’s with the 103rd overall pick.

Golloway expects both to sign professional contracts.

He’s holding out hope Jenks infielder Trey Michalczewski and Redlands, Calif., catch Jacob Nottingham will be in Norman in August.

Michalczewski was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the seventh round. Nottingham went to the Houston Astros in the sixth round.

“I think those two are 50-50,” Golloway said. “The rest, we’re gonna get."

The remaining four of the group should make up the bulk of the recruiting class. Golloway expects Alec Hansen, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound right-hander from Loveland, Colo. and Octavio Rodriguez, a 6-foot-4, 192-pound left-hander from El Paso, Texas, to compete for starting spots in the pitching rotation as freshmen.

Hansen and Rodriguez have both shown fastballs that can reach the mid-90s

He sees a similar scenario for shortstop Sheldon Neuse. The Fort Worth (Fossil Ridge), Texas, product has already been penciled in as the Sooners’ starting shortstop.

Colleyville, Texas, outfielder Cody Thomas doesn’t have a baseball scholarship. He was the quarterback in OU’s 2013 football recruiting class. Nonetheless, Golloway gets him next spring and believes he could start in a corner outfield spot as a freshman.

“The recruits we have coming in, guys that were drafted in the 20s, are gonna show up on campus and those guys can flat pitch and flat play,” Golloway said. “I expect freshmen to come in and win jobs.”