Draft Day Surprises

The Major League Baseball draft never fails to surprise West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey. If there's one thing he's learned in 23 years of coaching in the college ranks, it's that there are always a few things that happen on draft day that you're not expecting – and the 2013 draft was no different.

"I was surprised that somebody drafted (WVU pitcher) Sean Carley after he didn't even throw a pitch this year. I was pretty surprised that nobody drafted Jacob Rice and Corey Walter," Mazey said. "I thought those two guys would both be drafted, but you never know. The draft is such an unpredictable event. We could have easily had a few more guys get drafted."

Carley, who sat out the 2013 season after transferring to West Virginia from Air Force following a second team all-Mountain West Conference campaign with the Falcons in 2012, was one of four current Mountaineers who were drafted. Those four, as well as high school senior Dmitri Casas, were all draft picks, and could have departed WVU. Two have made the decision to stay, but that still leaves plenty of decisions to be made before the July 15 deadline.

Carley and Harrison Musgrave, the West Virginia ace who was named the Big 12's Pitcher of the Year, were the first to clear the air. The starting pitching duo that is expected to be at the top of the rotation next season both took to Twitter shortly after they were picked to announce that they would be returning.

"The season is a long way off, and they both need to stay healthy and stay sharp, but if all goes as planned, I really like our 1-2 combination of pitchers as much as anyone's in the league," Mazey said of Musgrave and Carley. "Obviously, February is a long way away, but it's nice to sit back and think that we'll have those two guys back to anchor our rotation on the weekends next year."

In addition to that duo, Mazey said that third baseman Ryan Tuntland, first baseman Ryan McBroom and Casas still had yet to make their decisions on whether they will sign or not. The three of them will have until the July 15 deadline to decide what to do.

Tuntland and McBroom could be crucial decisions for the 2014 team, as the two were key pieces to the Mountaineer offense and anchored the heart of WVU's batting order.

Tuntland was second on the team in hitting with a .325 batting average and nine doubles, three home runs and 36 RBI. McBroom led the Big 12 with 12 home runs while hitting .268 with 19 doubles and a team-best 48 RBI.

"I think all of those guys had a great experience here this past season and they all feel like, if they all come back, we can have a pretty good club next year," Mazey said. "Hopefully they'll make a nice, rational decision in their best interest."

Mazey said that he and the rest of his coaching staff has been open with the players during the entire draft process, always willing to answer any question they might have.

After playing at Clemson in college, Mazey went on to play in the minor leagues for a few years before getting into coaching. Volunteer assistant Daniel Carte was the 52nd overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft and spent five seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization. That gives them perspective on the process.

"I'm all about doing whatever is in the best interest of the kids," Mazey said. "If they need advice, we're here for them and to let them know what they're going to be getting into, no matter what they decide."

In just one year in the program, Mazey has made significant steps toward getting the WVU baseball program to where he wants it to be – a nationally respected team that is competing for a title every year. He said that was something that was made evident by this year's draft.

"The sign of a really good program and that you have somewhere that kids will want to play is that those guys will come back to school," he said. "Any time you look around the country and you see college juniors that get drafted return to school for their last year, you know that they enjoy the program and they like what's going on and they like what's happening. That will be a true indication of how these guys like it here and that they feel they can continue to progress as baseball players."

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