With the Major League Baseball draft in the rear-view mirror, Oregon State’s attention is fully on Minnesota.
Six Beavers were taken during the three-day, 40-round draft that ran Monday through Wednesday. Second baseman Nick Madrigal (fourth overall, Chicago White Sox), outfielder Trevor Larnach (20th, Minnesota Twins) and shortstop Cadyn Grenier (37th, Baltimore Orioles) were all first-round selections.
“I don’t think anybody, including Minnesota or UCLA or Texas … can avoid the fact that the draft jumps right in the middle of what you’re doing,” OSU coach Pat Casey said. “I think you kind of prepare your guys for that. There’s so much communication now, I’m sure most of those guys knew they were going to be drafted and pretty close to where they were going to be drafted. It’s neat that it’s done and it’s over and they can move on.”
No. 3 national seed OSU (47-10-1) is hosting 14th-seeded Minnesota (43-13) for the best-of-3 Corvallis Super Regional. Friday’s opener is scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch at Goss Stadium.
The winner of the series advances to the College World Series.
OSU center fielder Steven Kwan (fifth round, Cleveland Indians), right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen (sixth round, Milwaukee Brewers) and third baseman Michael Gretler (10th round, Pittsburgh Pirates) were all drafted Tuesday. No Beavers, including two-time Pac-12 pitcher of the year Luke Heimlich, were picked Wednesday.
Casey declined to comment on Heimlich going undrafted for the second straight year.
Several Division I coaches have spoken about the poor timing of the MLB draft. Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin called it “borderline disrespectful” to have the draft unfold while players are competing in NCAA tournament games.
Holding the draft after the CWS could be an option.
“It would be nice for us, but maybe not realistic,” Casey said. “Maybe they ought to do it a little earlier … coincide it with the selection show or do it a week before that so guys can actually focus on the postseason.
“It’s a tough situation, but I think college kids are probably fairly resilient in that area and they just jump back onto the next thing. So not too big of a deal for me.”
Overcoming the weather
Just like Oregon State, Minnesota spent the first two weeks of the season playing tournaments in warm-weather states.
It’s a fact of life for baseball teams north of the Mason-Dixon line.
“I used to worry about being in a league with Arizona State and Arizona all the time and thinking ‘how is this ever going to work?,’” Casey said. “And then you quit worrying about that and just worry about what you can control, and one of them isn’t the weather. I haven’t been able to do that yet, but I’m working on it.”
Starting pitcher not named
Casey said either Heimlich or Bryce Fehmel will start Friday’s opener. The decision will be made after Thursday’s workout.
“They are both going to be rested, and last week we did the same thing,” Casey said. “We’ll just ask Luke what he wants to do and we’ll roll with that.”