The Big 12 was as tough a baseball conference as there was this season.
Seven of the nine teams finished with more than 30 victories and four teams, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, finished the year ranked in the top 25. As if the results from this season were not enough proof, the recent MLB first year player draft proved just how much talent was in the Big 12.
A record four Big 12 players were selected in the first 11 picks of the draft, including three straights at picks seven eight and nine. In the first 10 rounds a total 22 Big 12 players were selected. WVU had eight total players selected in the draft, all of which can be read about here. This is a snapshot of all of the other Big 12 schools and where their players were selected.
Nick Lodolo, LHP - First round, seventh pick, Cincinnati Reds
Lodolo was the first Big 12 player taken in the draft and for good reason. The 6’6” junior made 16 starts this season and put up a 2.36 ERA while striking out 131 batters in 103 innings. In his only start against the Mountaineers this season, Lodolo pitched six innings, gave up three runs on five hits but struck out nine and took home the victory.
Brandon Williamson, LHP - Second round, 59th pick, Seattle Mariners
Johnny Rizer, OF - Seventh round, 198th pick, Baltimore Orioles
Jake Guenther, INF - Seventh round, 218th pick, Tampa Bay Rays
Josh Watson, OF - 15th round, 464th pick, Oakland Athletics
Zach Humphreys, C - 26th round, 793rd pick, Milwaukee Brewers
Alex Isola, C - 29th round, 869th pick, Minnesota Twins
Jared Janczak, RHP - 31st round, 940th pick, Cleveland Indians
Jake Eissler, RHP - 38th round, 1,150th pick, Cleveland Indians
Josh Jung, INF - First round, eighth pick, Texas Rangers
The Red Raiders’ junior third baseman actually took a step back from the numbers he put up as a sophomore. He had a lower batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage and fewer home runs and RBI, albeit in eight fewer games played. Despite this he still hit .340 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI all while showing a better approach at the plate that led to him almost doubling his walk rate and lowering his strikeout rate. Against WVU this season Jung went 2-17 with one home run.
Gabe Holt, OF - Seventh round, 223rd pick, Milwaukee Brewers
Holt led the Big 12 in stolen bases this season with 28 in 31 attempts.
Caleb Kilian, RHP - Eighth round, 236th pick, San Francisco Giants
Taylor Ford, RHP - 10th round, 313rd pick, Milwaukee Brewers
John McMillon, OF - 11th round, 322nd pick, Detroit Tigers
Caleb Freeman RHP - 15th round, 440th pick, Chicago White Sox
Cameron Warren, INF - 22nd round, 654th pick, Cincinnati Reds
Shea Langeliers, C - First round, ninth pick, Atlanta Braves
Langeliers was the second catcher taken in the draft, after first overall pick Adley Rutschman of Oregon State. The Bears’ backstop is a defensive wizard behind the plate, committing zero errors this season while throwing out 14 of 25 would be base stealers. Langeliers was no slouch at the plate either, hitting .308 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI. Langeliers tortured WVU pitching this season, going 6-14 and hitting a home run in all three games played against the Mountaineers.
Davis Wendzel, INF - Competitive Balance A round, 41st pick, Texas Rangers
The Bears’ third baseman led the Big 12 in batting average at .368.
Cody Bradford, LHP - Sixth round, 175th pick, Texas Rangers
Kyle Hill, RHP - 10th round, 306th pick, Seattle Mariners
Josh Bissonette, INF - 31st round, 934th pick, Pittsburgh Pirates
Luke Boyd, RHP - 38th round, 1,141st pick, Los Angeles Angels
Ryan Zeferjahn, RHP - Third round, 107th pick, Boston Red Sox
Jaxx Groshans, C - Fifth round, 167th pick, Boston Red Sox
Blair Henley, RHP - Seventh round, 226th pick, Houston Astros
David Hamilton, INF - Eighth round, 253rd pick, Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Reynolds, INF - 14th round, 432nd pick, Chicago Cubs
Logan Gragg, RHP - Eighth round, 245th pick, St. Louis Cardinals
Peyton Battenfield, RHP - Ninth round, 287th pick, Houston Astros
Brady Basso, LHP - 16th round, 494th pick, Oakland Athletics
Trevor Boone, OF - 18th round, 549th pick, Colorado Rockies
Jensen Elliott, RHP - 19th round, 558th pick, Baltimore Orioles
Jake Lyons, RHP - 22nd round, 648th pick, Baltimore Orioles
Colin Simpson, C - 29th round, 879th pick, Colorado Rockies
Nathan Wiles, RHP - Eighth round, 248th pick, Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Ruffcorn, RHP - 18th round, 534th pick, Cincinnati Reds
Braidyn Fink, RHP - 19th round, 581st pick, Los Angeles Dodgers
Brylie Ware, INF - 23rd round, 695th pick, St. Louis Cardinals
Will Brennan, OF - Eighth round, 250th pick, Cleveland Indians
TCU had the most players selected with nine and the Milwaukee Brewers drafted the most Big 12 players with four.