Register Ready to Join Rockies As Early Draft Pick

Auburn, Ala.--Steven Register is fired up about the opportunity to play pro baseball and not even the prospect of having to play in a pitcher's nightmare of a home park, Coors Field, will deter him from following his life-long dream of trying to make it as a Major League baseball player.

The Auburn junior right-hander was selected by the Colorado Rockies on Monday in the annual Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. The third round pick says that he definitely plans to sign with the National League club and begin his adventure as a pro baseball player.

"This is something I have dreamed about doing since I was young," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I am excited about the opportunity."

Steven Register

Register was actually on the telephone talking to a representative of the Philadelphia Phillies when he was drafted by the Rockies. The Phillies, another National League club, told the Register they were getting ready to draft him in the third round. However, while that was going on his brother told the Auburn pitcher that he had just been selected by the Rockies.

"That really wasn't that big a surprise to me," he says. "I had talked to the Rockies earlier and I knew they were interested in me and they knew that I was interested in them, too. It is a great organization. We talked about the fact that Coors Field is not considered a good park for pitchers, but that doesn't bother me."

Steven Register earned All-America honors as a sophomore closer.

After talking with the Rockies on Monday, Register says he is still not certain what the organization's immediate plans are for him. The hard-throwing right-hander was mainly a relief pitcher at Auburn, although he was moved to the starting rotation at the end of this past season.

"It is my understanding that some people in the organization are looking at me as a starter and others are looking at me as a closer," he says.

Register also isn't sure where he might be headed on his first pro assignment, although he suspects it might be a short-season league in the Pacific northwest in Washington that features players who just completed their college seasons.

The right-hander has the option of returning for one more year of college baseball, however, he says that he is happy with where he was drafted and he has made up his mind that he is headed to pro baseball. He adds that he wishes his collegiate career would have finished on a more positive note.

The Tigers, who were ranked in the Top 10 early in the season, slumped down the stretch and did not make the SEC or NCAA tournament fields. Auburn finished with a 32-24 overall record and the Tigers were 12-18 in the SEC.

"I was at the beach this weekend in Florida and I watched some of the Florida regional games on TV and it was disappointing not to be playing in one of them," he says.

Last summer, Register had a strong performance as a closer for Team USA. This spring for the Tigers, he posted a 7-0 record with three saves and a 4.02 earned run average. He made 22 appearances and gave up 55 hits in 56 innings. Register started three games and struck out 52 batters and walked 16.

"I have been throwing bullpens the past couple of weeks and my arm feels good so I am ready to pitch once I am assigned," he says. "I am excited about getting started with the Rockies."

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