Local Products and the MLB Draft
With the MLB draft just over 24 hours away, a few local products are waiting to hear where their names will be called.
Branden Cogswell, a Shenendehowa graduate and the second baseman for the University of Virginia, will undoubtedly hear his name during the draft, as will pitcher Jeff Hoffman of East Carolina (Shaker).
Cogswell, a first-team all-ACC selection and preseason all-American, has helped the Cavaliers advance to the Super Regionals this weekend. The ‘Hoos are just two wins from the College World Series and Cogswell has been an integral reason why.
Situated at the top of the lineup, Cogswell has hit .294 with a .394 on-base percentage. Prospect Digest has him ranked as the 115th best college prospect in the draft – earning him a sixth-round grade.
But one of the biggest stories of the draft will be Hoffman, Cogswell’s former teammate with the South Troy Dodgers. The Shaker graduate was projected as a top-four overall pick until he was sidelined with forearm tightness, and ultimately Tommy John surgery in late-April.
Hoffman has a fastball that can reach the upper 90s and even with Tommy John, he’s projected to be a first-round pick.
I’ve seen him going No. 11 to the Blue Jays, and I’ve seen him No. 14 to the Giants, but no matter where he goes, he’s not leaving the first round. The only question is who is going to bite on a pitcher that will be sidelined a year?
MLB.com has him ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the draft. He was 3-3 with a 2.94 ERA prior to his injury. He struck out 72 in 67.1 innings.