Washington State right fielder Yale Rosen was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 11th round of the MLB 2014 First-Year Player Draft today, No. 327 overall.
Rosen, a junior, had his second big year in a row for the Cougars, hitting .294 with five homers and 13 doubles for a team-leading slugging percentage of .457. While his teammate, third baseman Nick Tanielu, was the one to be named all-Pac-12 first team, it was Rosen who was WSU's most dangerous hitter as evidenced by his team-leading 25 walks. Nobody else had more than 16.
The lefty hitter's power numbers actually were slightly down from his sophomore year, when he hit seven homers to pace a .490 slugging percentage. But he struck out less and walked more in 2014, and (presuming he signs, which it is believed he will) Rosen will be heading off to professional ball with a considerably more polished approach.
Fans of Padres wondering what Rosen's upside is should know that his power potential at 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds is tantalizing.
As an outfielder of modest defensive abilities, his bat is what's going to potentially carry him in his pro career. He hit 12 homers in his 2012 summer league stint, and that was before his season was ended prematurely with a shoulder injury. He did not fare as well in the Cape Cod league last summer, however, hitting just .237 with three homers in 27 games.
However, he bounced back in a big way for WSU. At one point in mid-April, Rosen's had an OPS of 1.097; that number started to dip when teams began to pitch him more carefully. Like most players making the step up to pro ball, he'll need to prove he can make solid contact while facing better pitchers.
It's important to note he's not a defensive liability, however, and he did have four steals in eight attempts this year. A slug, he is not.