Dodgers Prospect #25 - LHP Cole St. Clair

When you look at Cole St. Clair's numbers at Ogden, you might wonder what all the fuss is about but just be patient and you'll see. Dodgers draft guru Logan White called him "the sleeper in the draft and his ceiling is as high as anyone we've selected in a number of years."

6-5 225 Bl Tl
Born- July 30, 1986 in Newport Beach, California
Obtained- Selected #7 in the 2008 First-Year Draft

Cole was born to an amazingly athletic family, his father played baseketball for UCLA, his mother organized and competed on the first crew team at UCLA and he his two sisters, Oliva on the crew team at UC-Irvine and Texas and the other, Elise, is on the sailing team at Hawaii.

His accomplishments in high school and college were dazzling.

A 2004 graduate of Foothill High School in Santa Ana, California he was a two-year starter in baseball for the Knights. He was named the 2004 league MVP -- an honor enhanced by the fact he topped his teammate Phillip Hughes, who was the number-one draft pick by the New York Yankees.

In 2004, his senior year, he was 11-1 with a save while maintaining a 1.16 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 72.2 innings and limiting batters to a combined .209 average.

Did we mention he was on the academic honor roll for all eight semesters and named a scholar athlete with a 3.6 grade point average? That continued through four years at Rice University.

As a freshman at Rice in 2005, he was a perfect 2-0 record with two saves and a 3.26 ERA in 47 innings while leading the pitching staff with 32 appearances, all in relief. He averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings of work, the best mark on the staff and held hitters faced to a composite .208 batting average.

His sophomore year was even better. He earned earned All-America; All-Conference USA (first team); All-Silver Glove Series and was on the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. He finished fifth in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (12.2 pg), 10th in ERA (1.82) and 22nd in saves (11) and held opponents' to a .151 batting average.

He spent the summer pitching for the United States National Team, against international players who are often older and professionals in their native countries. He compiled a 4-0 record with three saves and a 0.69 ERA in 13 appearances and struck out 43 hitters in 26 innings.

But then he had arm ailments so serious that he missed most of the 2007 season but Cleveland didn't worry much about that and drafted him in the seventh round, but he turned them down. He finished his abbreviated year with a 1.91 ERA in 28.1 innings and 16 appearances, holding the opponents to a combined .214 batting average and averaged of 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

Cole returned for his senior season in 2008 and helped lead the Owls into the College World Series. He wasn't hitting 95 on the speed gun anymore, but he still became one of the nation's most dominating closers, posting a Conference USA-leading 10 wins with a 2.09 ERA in 21 relief appearances and holding opposing hitters to a .204 batting average.

Following the season he was selected as the winner of the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in the baseball division. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented annually to college baseball's outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete. He was also named the recipient of the 2008 Bob Quin Award, given to the most outstanding senior student-athlete at Rice who exemplifies leadership and academic and athletic excellence.

His teammates named him "The Bull" because he will charge the hitters in any situation. And Rice head coach Wayne Graham said, "If he gets to 100 percent physically, he will be one of the best pitchers in the country, if not the best. He has presence and he has stuff."

Many Major League teams seemed leery of picking him, at least early in the draft but White told LADugout "Sure he had an arm injury but he seems to be over that. I don't know if he will ever throw 95 again, but he doesn't need to.

"He's a real gamer and I love how he competes. He's a big, rangy athletic guy that was throwing a good, moving fastball at 88-92 with a good breaking ball plus good sinker and a motion that makes it hard for the hitter's to pick up the ball. He's got really nasty stuff.

"He was projected a #1 pick at one time and we were surprised and delighted to be able to get him in the seventh round. He may be the bargain of the draft. His ceiling was so high, we just had to take him. I think he will move up quickly and could be in the big leagues before anybody."

He is certain to move up to Inland Empire in 2009. The kid will be 22 and great things should be in store for him.

Cole St. Clair

year	team    w-l   era  gm  gs  sv   in   h   bb  so  ave  
2008    Ogden  10-3  3.03  24   3   5  62.1  54  16  67 .237



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