Note: I'll be updating this as WSU players are drafted throughout today and tomorrow.
With the Cougs baseball season ending yesterday, the attention shifts to the MLB draft. Outside of the graduating seniors, it's likely that the Cougars may not lose anyone else. Through the first 600 picks, only Chad Arnold was selected, going to the Dodgers with the 562nd pick.
Going so late on the second day probably means Arnold will return for his RS-Senior year, or at least we hope. Per Vince Grippi, Arnold was recognized on senior day this year and is expected to sign with the Dodgers. Sadly, that leaves us without our ace and most consistent starter. Shea Vucinich, a junior, was also just picked by the Brewers with the 608th pick.
The real fun is to look around the Pac-10 and at the recent NCAA regionals to see just what the Cougs were up again. In the regionals, Arkansas had five players come off the board before the first Cougar was selected. Zack Cox, the player that rocks, was a first round selection, drafted 26th. Brett Eibner, the Arkansas outfielder who pitched yesterday, was drafted 54th. Remember when we thought he was just a mop-up arm? He wasn't. The Royals drafted him as a pitcher, liking his arsenal. Arkansas ace Drew "can I buy a vowel" Smyly was selected 68th by Detroit. The amount of talent on Arkansas was apparent when looking at the draft. The fact that WSU was a few mistakes away from winning the regional, despite Arkansas having the more talented team, is something to be proud of.
Around the Pac-10, there was quite a bit of talent taken in the first two days. From ASU, the top team, Seth Blair and Jordan Swagerty were drafted in the top 100 and six players have been taken thus far. Blair was tagged for 5 runs in the Cougs series opener against top-ranked ASU back in April. Ryan Rasmussen, UCLA's Sunday pitcher, was drafted 73rd. Rasmussen shut down the Cougars in the final game of the regular season, going 6 innings and allowing the only run of the game in an 11-1 win for UCLA. Finally, Oregon State have the most players picked so far, with 8 being chosen, 2 better than ASU. The Pac-10 was loaded this year and there is still plenty of young talent in the conference that wasn't draft eligible.
The news for the Cougs is good right now. All but Arnold of our underclassmen should be sticking around, giving us a great chance to continue improving next year. The Pac-10 should be loaded again, but WSU is reloading, not rebuilding. Even without Arnold, e've got some great arms to go along with the emerging bats on the team. If you're down about the season ending yesterday, keep in mind that the future is still bright.