TexasSports.com

LONGHORNS, SIGNEES SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT

Texas baseball coach David Pierce had high hopes for 21-year-old sophomore LHP Nick Kennedy and Canada's top high school pitching prospect RHP Landon Leach, who throws in the mid-90s. But their futures at UT may be in doubt after both were selected in the Major League Baseball draft.

$ - Texas sophomore LHP Nick Kennedy, who is 21 and thus draft-eligible, was taken in the 5th round today and will have a tough decision to make. He'd likely be in the weekend rotation for the Horns if he returns. Would be a big blow to UT if Kennedy opts to sign. Has a chance to really improve his draft status next year with a spot in UT's weekend rotation and more development.

 

$ - Texas signee RHP Landon Leach, Canada's top pitching prospect who throws mid-90s, went 37th overall to Minnesota on Monday night. REALLY wanted to see Leach in a Texas uniform next season. But now the odds are probably on him signing with the Twins.

 

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TUESDAY SELECTIONS

TEXAS 1B KACY CLEMENS, 8TH ROUND, TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Senior first baseman Kacy Clemens has been selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in eighth round, 249th overall, on Tuesday afternoon in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.

 

Clemens was the offensive MVP for the Longhorns this season, leading the team in nearly every category. Clemens led the Longhorns in batting average (.305), on-base percentage (.414), slugging percentage (.532), home runs (12), RBI (49), runs scored (48) walks (40), and hits (67). Starting all but one game for the Longhorns, the first baseman also stole 10 bases for Texas and fielded at a .992 clip. With the bases loaded, the senior went 5-for-9 (.556) with two grand slams. He also added 20 game-tying or go-ahead RBI to go along with 20 two-out RBI on the year.

 

Considered one of the top defensive first baseman ever at Texas, Clemens fielded at a .991 clip and added 100 assists for his career. After splitting time on the mound and at first base in his first two seasons at Texas, Clemens switched to first base more permanently in his junior season. Although he finished his career with a .267 average, Clemens hit .304 over his last two seasons with 17 homers and 80 RBI.

 

Clemens is the first Longhorns senior taken in this year’s draft and the fifth Longhorn overall, joining Morgan Cooper (Dodgers, 2nd round), Nick Kennedy (Rockies, 5th round), Kyle Johnston (Nationals, 6th round), and Bret Boswell (Rockies, 8th round) as Longhorns selected so far in this year’s draft.

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TEXAS 2B BRET BOSWELL, 8TH ROUND, COLORADO ROCKIES

Boswell hit .273 this season with 7 HR and fielded his position (2B) at a .993 clip.

The Longhorns' first position player off the board in this year's MLB draft, Boswell was selected 236th overall.
After redshirting in 2014, Boswell hit .257 in three seasons at Texas. This past season, the Rockwall native added career-highs in nearly every category. He hit .273 with 13 doubles and seven homers in 61 games. Boswell added 33 RBI, second-most on the team, and finished with an .828 OPS for the Longhorns. 

Boswell moved to second base this past season and started 59 of the Longhorns’ 63 games there. He made just two errors on the year and helped Texas to 65 double plays, the fourth-most in the nation.

 

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TEXAS RHP KYLE JOHNSTON, 6TH ROUND, WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Right-handed pitcher Kyle Johnston became the third Texas Baseball player selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft when he was taken in the sixth round, 193rd overall, by the Washington Nationals on Tuesday afternoon.

 

Johnston, a junior from Flower Mound, made 17 appearances (12 starts) for the Longhorns this season. He went 3-2 with a pair of saves for Texas and struck out 52 in 73.1 innings. As a starter, he registered a 2.90 ERA and held opponent’s to a .224 average. 

 

In three seasons at Texas, Johnston compiled a career 3.32 ERA to go along with 157 strikeouts in 181.2 innings on the hill.

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TEXAS LHP NICK KENNEDY, 5th ROUND, COLORADO ROCKIES

(If Kennedy returns to Texas, he'll have a good chance of being in UT's weekend starting rotation.)

Texas Baseball sophomore Nick Kennedy has been selected in the fifth round (146th overall) by the Colorado Rockies on day two of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.

Kennedy, who at age 21 is draft-eligible as a sophomore, had a breakout season with the Longhorns. The lefthander appeared in 19 games (nine starts) at Texas, compiling an 8-2 record with a 3.02 ERA. In 53.2 innings of work, he struck out 59 and registered his first complete game—a seven-inning, two-run, 11-strikeout effort—on the road at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on March 28.

 

On June 5, he was named a 2017 Gregg Olson Award semifinalist. The Olson Award, which is given annually to college baseball’s breakout player of the year, recognizes a top amateur baseball player who elevates his game to an elite level throughout the season.

 

 

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MONDAY NIGHT SELECTIONS

 

TEXAS RHP MORGAN COOPER, 2ND ROUND, LA DODGERS

 

Redshirt-junior pitcher Morgan Cooper was selected in the second round, 62nd overall, by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft. 

 

Cooper went 6-3 with a 2.32 ERA on the mound for the Longhorns this season. In 16 games (15 starts), the Jarrell native struck out 110 batters and held opponents to a .204 average over 89.1 innings of work.  Following the season, he was named to the All-Big 12 first team and, earlier this month, he earned Collegiate Baseball third-team All-America honors. 

 

The right-hander came to Texas in 2014 and appeared in 29 games, 28 out of the bullpen, helping the Longhorns to the 2014 College World Series. That year, he was named a Perfect Game second-team Freshman All-American. Cooper missed the 2015 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but in his three seasons at Texas, he compiled a 3.01 ERA and racked up 221 strikeouts in 212.1 innings of work.

 

Cooper is the Longhorns’ highest pick since Corey Knebel was taken in the Competitive Balance Round A (39th overall) in 2013.

 

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TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SIGNEES DRAFTED IN FIRST ROUND

 

OF TRISTEN LUTZ

RHP LANDON LEACH

 

Texas baseball’s two top high school signees - OF Tristen Lutz and P Landon Leach -  were both selected in the MLB draft on Monday night.

 

Lutz was drafted by the Brewers with 34th overall pick while pitcher Landon Leach, Canada's top pitching prospect whose fastball has been clocked at 96 mph, went to the Twins with the 37th overall pick.

 

It's going to be tough for Lutz and Leach to turn down first-round money. Man, I was excited to see Leach in a Texas uniform with his heat, which is something the UT pitching staff was sorely lacking out of the bullpen this season. 

 

Here's what Texas coach David Pierce and assistant coach Sean Allen had to say about both Lutz and Leach on signing day in November:

 

Tristen Lutz | OF | R/R | 6-3 | 205 | Arlington, Texas (Arlington Martin High School)

 

Texas coach David Pierce on Lutz: "I spoke with Tristen this summer on the phone and then had my first look at him at the California Area Code Games in August. He is physical and he can run. He can do multiple things on the field."

Texas assistant coach Sean Allen on Lutz: "Tristen is arguably the best outfielder in the state of Texas and is a Top-100 player in the country. He is your prototypical corner outfielder—he has a big, physical body, can flat out hit and can also steal bases. He really has the chance to impact our team in a major way once he arrives on campus." 

 

 

Landon Leach | RHP | R/R | 6-4 | 215 | Pickering, Ontario (Pickering High School)

Texas coach David Pierce on Leach: "Landon is one of the top pitchers in this year's recruiting class. Coach Allen and Coach Miller's persistence recruiting Landon will definitely pay off. UT fans are in for a treat. He is big and has great stuff."

Texas assistant coach Sean Allen on Leach: "Landon is the best right-handed pitcher in Canada. We have been following him very closely for a couple years now and he was a top priority for our staff once we came to Texas. Landon has pitched in some big games for Team Canada throughout his youth. He has a great pitcher's body and pitches well into the 90s with a plus breaking ball. We are extremely excited to bring him to the 40 Acres."

 

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