Rogers, Sterry Await Baseball Draft"> Rogers, Sterry Await Baseball Draft">

Wolfpack Signees Eye the MLB Amateur Draft

Do you think N.C. State baseball coach Elliot Avent is a worried man these days? Not only is star redshirt sophomore pitcher Michael Rogers a potential first-round selection, but three other Wolfpack signees also could be chosen in the early rounds of today's 2004 MLB Amateur Draft. <P> <B>GoPack.com: </b><a href="http://gopack.collegesports.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/060704aaa.html">Rogers, Sterry Await Baseball Draft</a>

Right-handed pitcher's Andrew Brackman and Erik Cordier are receiving heavy interest from pro teams while shortstop/pitcher Ryan Pond has also had some looks.

Cincinnati's Brackman is in a unique situation. The 6'10 standout is considered the best high school basketball and baseball player in Ohio, and inked a scholarship to play hoops for the Wolfpack while also pitching for the baseball squad.

Andrew, who recorded the save in Moeller's state championship win on Saturday, was back on the diamond Sunday playing summer league baseball. However, his father, Mark Brackman, spoke briefly with StateFans regarding Andrew's options.

Andrew Brackman's considered the top basketball and baseball high school player in Ohio. Will he be able to turn down a huge signing bonus to play both sports at NC State? (Photo Courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer)

"It's a crapshoot right now," Mr. Brackman said. "There are a couple of teams that's going to go after him, but I think basketball may have scared a lot of them off. I've told people that he wants to play basketball. Andrew said he wants to play both because he doesn't know how good he can be at both."

Brackman's a devastating prep pitcher, sporting a 94 MPH fastball, an overhand breaking ball, and a knuckle curve. As a senior he finished the season 7-0 with a 0.53 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 48 innings of work. However, he's also a consensus top 50 high school basketball player in the country, and at 6'10, he could still be growing.

"We had him examined at the beginning of the year and was told that his growth plates are wide open," Mr. Brackman said. "He's a legitimate 6'10 right now and with his growth plates wide open he can reach seven-feet tall."

For now, the Brackman family is looking forward to Andrew attending NC State. Of course, a high draft selection and huge signing bonus could change things.

"Everything is set up for him to go to N.C. State," Brackman noted. "He's scheduled to be there July 6th. He's going to play summer basketball down in Raleigh and will also play with the Cincinnati Gators in AAU baseball. The team has said that they will fly him into various tournaments. If he signs then it's a completely different scenario, but we're not even thinking about that right now."

Given his prep background, size, outstanding athleticism, and marketability, most would think Andrew figures to be a high draft pick. However, that might not be the case.

"We haven't heard any projections except that no one wants to get on him because of basketball," said Mr. Brackman. "Andrew has worked so hard at basketball, and he's informed everyone that he wants to play it. For example, after his graduation while most of the other guys were out partying, Drew went down to the park and shot for two hours. The cops had to kick him off the court at the park. He just loves both sports."

"I'd like to see him play in the NBA," Mr. Brackman added with a laugh. "Why give up one when you can play both?"

Right-hander Erik Cordier could be a late first-round pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft. (Photo courtesy of Brewersfan.net)

Brackman and Sturgeon Bay (Wi.) Southern Door pitcher Erik Cordier headlined the Wolfpack's baseball class, and although Andrew may have received more hype, Cordier will likely be the first of the two chosen in today's draft.

"My senior season went very well and it couldn't have gone any better," Cordier told StateFans. "We had a good year as a team, and I did well myself. I finished with a 5-1 record and 0.48 ERA."

Erik, a 6'3 195 pound right-handed pitcher with outstanding mechanics and three quality pitches, also posted 64 strikeouts in 32 innings of work. Professional teams across the country have been in contact with the Wisconsin Gatorade baseball player of the year.

"The Royals, Brewers, Dodgers, Yankees, Twins, and Indians are really showing interest," he said. "Growing up in Wisconsin, playing for the Brewers would be great, but it really doesn't matter. I just want to play baseball somewhere."

"I've heard everything from Rounds 2 to 5, and even a possibility of a late first round or supplemental pick. The lowest will probably be the end of the second round with the worst case scenario being the third round."

Cordier signed with N.C. State in the fall after considering a host of major colleges. An accomplished football and basketball player, he was attracted to the Wolfpack's great coaching staff and facilities.

"I love the coaching staff and the facilities at N.C. State," he said. "Coach Avent was the National Coach of the Year last year, and he was a big influence. Coach Roberts was a big influence too. He came off as a great guy and he had a chance to play pro baseball so obviously he knows what he's talking about. I think that they would really teach me a lot about the game of baseball."

Erik mentioned that he's going to consider all of his options, and that he has a tough decision ahead of him.

"It's going to be a very tough decision," he said. "N.C. State is a very good school, an up-and-coming program, and a difficult situation to pass up on."

"I'm going to just talk with my family and make the best decision for me."

Ryan Pond turned down a scholarship offer to play quarterback at Clemson so he can pursue a college baseball career at NC State.

Chesapeake (VA) Western Branch shortstop/pitcher Ryan Pond entered his senior season with the same hype as Cordier and Brackman, however a minor shoulder injury tempered some of those expectations.

"I was getting some very good feedback, but early in the season I had some shoulder tendinitis that really set me back as far as that goes," he said. "I'm probably going to get drafted, but I don't think I'll sign."

Pond's final year at Western Branch is still going on, and the goal remains a state championship.

"Right now we're still playing in the state quarterfinals," he said. "We have a quarterfinal game on Tuesday, and I've been concerned with that. I hit .471 with four home runs and thirty RBIs in the regular season, and I think we have a shot to win the championship this year."

Ryan's an outstanding athlete who also excelled on the gridiron. At 6'3 and 225 pounds, he finished his football career as the most prolific passer in Hampton Roads history, and turned down a football offer from Clemson to play baseball at N.C. State. The Wolfpack held off big-time programs such as Virginia Tech, Clemson, and LSU to land his signature, and Pond's ready to make his way to Raleigh.

"I'm really looking forward to heading to N.C. State," he said. "I just love the atmosphere, it's in the ACC, and everything about the school. The coaches like me as a two-way player who can make an impact right away."

Today's going to be an important day for NC State baseball. One that Coach Elliott Avent will certainly be concerned over.

Note: The Major League Baseball Draft begins at 1:00 PM EST today and is broadcast over the internet at MLB.com.

StateFans will have full coverage of the MLB Amatuer Draft so stay tuned for the latest on these signees and the current Wolfpack players who could be selected today.


Pack Pride Top Stories