Cougar baseball may have had a down year on the diamond, but three of their stars heard their name called last weekend as part of the 2016 MLB first year player draft.
Ian Hamilton, Layne Bruner and Trek Stemp were picked in the 11th, 18th and 29th rounds (respectively), but they were all juniors when they wrapped up the college baseball season and that meant they had options. Each of the three could sign their pro contracts and report to the minors, or they could return to Pullman for their senior year with the Cougs.
Just three days after the end of the marathon draft, news of their decisions has started to come out.
- Ian Hamilton announced his choice yesterday. His agency, NW Sports Management, posted the news of the 11th round picks signing with the White Sox on their Instagram and MLB.com reported that his signing bonus was north of $100,000 (which is way more than my first job out of college).
- Layne Bruner was picked by the Orioles in the 18th round and, according to a quote given to the The Daily World (Grays Harbor), will turn pro. "This time around, I have 100 percent intention to sign," Bruner told the newspaper, referencing his 26th round selection from Baltimore that he turned down coming out of high school. "Pullman has been great to me, but I believe for me to improve as a player, I needed a change of scenery ... I'm ready to start my job."
- 29th round selection Trek Stemp announced earlier this week that he will also sign his professional contract with the Rays. Stemp was probably the MVP of WSU's season last year, and now the Kennewick native is looking to bring that play to the Rays organization.
Additionally, signee Jake Polancic, a pitcher, tweeted shortly after being selected in the 11th round that he was ready to start his pro career.
There could be even more changes coming in year two of the Marty Lees coaching tenure. He told Cougfan today that the team "moved some kids on to find another place," and that the number of players leaving the program is "significant."
Stay tuned baseball fans, it sounds like more news is coming soon.
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