The final day of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft left a trio of Washington State Cougars with big decisions to make.
Juniors J.D. Leckenby and Adam Nelubowich along with third-year sophomore Trace Tam Sing were selected on Saturday. That left the three with the options of signing and following their professional dreams, or returning to campus for another season in an attempt to improve their draft spot, and, in turn, their signing bonuses.
A versatile right-handed pitcher, Leckenby was selected in the 14th round at 416 overall by the New York Mets. He has bounced between the starting rotation and bullpen during his three years in Pullman. In 2012 he started 14 games, winning four while logging a team-leading 80 innings. Last season he returned to the relief role he had as a freshman (when he made 18 appearances) and recorded a team-high six saves in 25 games.
The 6-foot-4 sinkerballer from Buhl, Idaho, is the fourth Cougar to be selected by the Mets all-time.
Nelubowich, a fourth-year junior, was drafted in the 18th round by the Houston Astros, at 527th overall. A left-handed hitter from Stony Plain, Alberta, he batted .299 with a team-best 14 doubles last season. He is the fifth Cougar drafted by the Astros all-time.
Shortstop Tam Sing was picked in the 26th round, 774th overall, by the Kansas City Royals. He hit .280 with 14 extra-base hits last season, primarily from the No. 9 spot in the order. The Bellevue native started as a freshman but was forced to redshirt in 2012 due to injury. He is the eighth Cougar selected by the Royals all-time.
The trio join outfielder Jason Monda (sixth round, Philadelphia) as Cougars selected in this year’s draft.
Another Zag to Cards
Gonzaga junior right-handed pitcher Arturo Reyes was drafted in the 40th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Reyes becomes the third Bulldog hurler selected this year and second by St. Louis following first-round pick Marco Gonzales. Reyes went 6-3 in 20 appearances for Gonzaga last season.
Mead’s Fink drafted
Third-baseman Grant Fink was drafted in the 23rd round by the Cleveland Indians. The Mead HS grad had a stellar senior season at Missouri Western, tying the Griffons’ single-season record for home runs at 14. He was a unanimous All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association first-team selection last season.
Rangers conclude draft
The Texas Rangers wrapped their 2013 draft with 30 picks on the final day. The Rangers used their 19th-round selection on pitcher Joseph Ledbetter, twin brother of their third-round pick David Ledbetter. Other Rangers selections included Lower Columbia right-handed pitcher Eason Napiontek in the 34th round and Lewis-Clark State outfielder Cody Lavalli in the 37th.