With the MLB draft continuing Friday and Saturday, it is expected that at least a pair of Cougs will hear their name called. Pitcher Ian Hamilton and utility man Trek Stemp were two of WSU's better players on the diamond in 2016, and their hardwork is about to pay off, if they so desire. Hamilton and Stemp are both juniors, so even if they get drafted they have the option to return to school.
Friday marks the second day of the draft, during which rounds 3-10 will take place. It will wrap up on Saturday, where they will get through rounds 11-40. Obviously, the earlier the better, but it seems like Hamilton in particular has a good shot at being drafted on day 2.
A lot was expected from the hard-throwing righty in 2016 after two dominant years in the bullpen, but his move to the rotation didn't go quite as expected. Hamilton finished the year with a 4.86 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 87 innings. This has caused him to fall a bit in draft boards after turning heads in the Cape Cod League over the summer. MLB.com ranks Hamilton as the 187th best prospect in the draft and Baseball America ranks him 221st. Below is part of the MLB.com scouting report on the Coug.
When pitching in shorter stints, he would crank his fastball up into the 94-97 mph range consistently. His very good changeup would play off of that, and he lived largely off of that two-pitch mix. As a starter, Hamilton has been very vanilla, largely pitching with an 89-91 mph fastball and trying to use his fringy breaking ball more frequently. He's moved around to various spots in Washington State's weekend rotation as a result.
Any team considering taking Hamilton in the top five rounds will be doing so based on his track record and success on the Cape. A return to a bullpen could allow him to move fairly quickly through a system as well.
Stemp on the other hand, is not ranked by either service, but is coming off a more successful 2016 campaign. He led the team with 65 hits, and was second for the Cougs in both on base percentage, and slugging percentage. Stemp was named All-Pac-12 after his season was cut short by a particularly unfortunate injury.
Again, even if they are drafted they can choose to return for their senior seasons. Any Coug who has spent three years in college, including redshirt sophomores, are eligible to be drafted, along with any high school signees.
You can watch the draft via live stream on MLB.com both Friday and Saturday. It starts at 9:30 a.m. Friday, and 9:00 a.m. Saturday. On Friday you can also follow along with the SB Nation Draft Tracker. If neither of those options sound appealing, we at CougCenter should have a story up when either Coug is drafted.
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