By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Oklahoma State University baseball program saw its Friday starter picked in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft for the second straight year on Thursday.
With the 31st overall pick, the Atlanta Braves selected Jason Hursh in the first round with a compensation pick with Michael Bourn signing with the Cleveland Indians. In last year’s MLB Draft, left-hander Andrew Heaney was selected with the ninth overall pick by the Miami Marlins.
It marks the third time in OSU history the program has had MLB first-round draft picks in consecutive years. That previously occurred in 1967-68 (Larry Burchart, Danny Thompson) and 1983-85 (Robbie Wine, Dennis Livingston and Gary Green, Pete Incaviglia).
In his redshirt sophomore campaign, Hursh compiled a 6-5 record with a 2.79 earned run average. The right-handed ace led the Cowboy pitching staff with 86 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings of work. He held opponents to .263 batting average and recorded three complete games — one of which was a complete-game shutout.
Coming out of high school, Hursh was drafted in the sixth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates but elected to attend Oklahoma State instead.
The Carrollton, Texas, native underwent Tommy John surgery after his freshman season in Stillwater and took a redshirt last year to rehab from the surgery.
Analysts on MLB.com projected Hursh as a potential relief pitcher coming out of college with his fastball hitting the mid-90s but his secondary pitches — a slider and changeup — still needing to be worked on.