Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

June 2, 2012

OSU's Andrew Heaney a likely first round pick in MLB Draft

OKLAHOMA CITY — There used to be a time when playing for the Oklahoma State baseball team was merely a stepping stone to the professional level.

That’s no longer the case but with the Major League Baseball draft starting Monday, former Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson said he expects several Cowboys to get the call — including pitcher Andrew Heaney, who is projected to go midway through the first round.

Heaney will likely become the first Oklahoma State player selected in the first round since the Chicago White Sox took Josh Fields in 2004.

“You know, it’s not every day that you have a first round prospect on your team,” Anderson said at the Big 12 Baseball Championship, before being fired on Tuesday. “We’ve been lucky to have a few here. We know that Andrew probably isn’t going to come back for his senior season, but we’re grateful for the three years that he did give us. He was a huge asset for us this year.”

The left-handed pitcher he won’t be the only Cowboy to get a call early in the draft, according to Anderson.

“I would think (Blake) Barnes and Mark (Ginther) have been drafted a couple of times, so somebody will probably take Mark,” Anderson said. “There might be a couple other pitchers like Randy McCurry, but I don’t know for sure. It’s so tough to tell these days.”

Anderson said the biggest challenge has been the introduction of new bats this year. Scouts who aren’t able to make it to the ballpark have to rely on statistics, and for most college players, those statistics are down.

“It used to be that you kind of have a pretty good idea who can hit and who can’t,” Anderson said. “With these new bats, you kind of have to project and do some different things. Before, guys kind of put up numbers and you kind of had a little bit better idea, but now there’s so much more projection involved.”

Oklahoma State isn’t quite the baseball pipeline it used to be. But Anderson’s influence put the program on the rise once again.

“We’re not a baseball factory, but you want them to have the opportunity to do that,” Anderson said. “In my time here we’ve had a bunch of them get the opportunity. We’ve had more guys drafted in the league since I’ve been here and more major leaguers than anybody. From that standpoint, we’ve had some good players.”

Anderson also said he hopes someone takes a chance on players like senior shortstop Hunter Bailey and senior catcher Jared Womack, saying that their leadership will prove to be a valuable asset to whichever club picks them.

“I’m excited for all those guys,” Anderson said. “That’s what you strive for. Otherwise, I don’t know why you play. Those guys have been an important part of our program the last few years. They’ve paved the way and set a pretty high standard for those newer guys. Hopefully they can all catch on somewhere and have long and successful careers.”

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