Five Sooner Names Have Been Pegged So Far

Fifty rounds of the MLB Draft are in the book, and five OU players heard their names get called during this week's draft.

The players drafted were junior second baseman Danny Black, junior pitcher Zach Neal, senior pitcher Jeremy Erben, redshirt sophomore third baseman Garrett Buechele and senior pitcher Jason Chowning.

Black was the first Sooner to be taken, and he was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 14th round. He hit .339 with 21 extra-base hits – 10 doubles, six triples and five homers – and 47 RBIs and was solid at second base during his first year at OU.

Black has good range to both his glove side and backhand, but the most exciting part of his game is his speed, a fact that opposing teams paid for while he was at the plate and on the base path. He stole 10 bases in 16 opportunities, and had multiple bunt singles (many for RBIs) in a system that small-ball players flourish.

The Marlins came back to the Sooners' roster during the 17th round, but this time they picked up Neal.

The right hander from Flower Mound, Texas, was named the team's ace and Friday night starter before the season started, and truly fit the role during conference play. Following a stellar performance during OU's regional round, Neal posts an 8-3 record with a 4.42 ERA and displayed his near pin-point control by striking out 86 and walking just 23 batters.

Buechele was drafted in the 18th round by the Texas Rangers, the same team father Steve Buechele was drafted by in 1982 and the same organization he works for today, coaching for the Double-A affiliate Frisco RoughRiders. Garrett is OU's leading hitter in most categories with his .387 batting average, 16 homers and 62 RBIs.

But the younger Buechele doesn't just impress at the plate. He has a good glove at the hot corner and any speed he lacks he makes up with quick reactions to range for grounders.

It was an up and down year for the Arizona Diamondbacks' draft pick, Erben, in the 22nd round. He made his 29 appearances in both relief and starting roles, but he found most of his success coming out of the bullpen.

Erben has a 7-1 record and 3.90 ERA, and looks to improve upon those stats during his year as a senior captain.

Chowning, the final Sooner to be drafted, was taken by the Houston Astros in the 28th round. He saw little action during the end of the season, but he was reliable when he was on the mound.

Chowning had a 2.11 ERA and 1-0 record during his senior year as one of OU's middle relief pitchers.

Even though these players could be raking in money soon, they are still focused on the end of their 2010 college season. The Sooners start a best-of-three series against the No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers at 2 p.m. Saturday in the super regional round and are two wins away from their first College World Series appearance since 1995.

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