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Monday, September 27, 2021

Sports

Trio of pitchers picked in draft


Major League Baseball scouts agreed that left-handed reliever Donnie Joseph was the best draft-eligible prospect UH showcased this season.

Joseph was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the 88th overall pick in the third round of last week’s MLB amateur draft. He became the highest Cougar taken since right-hander Brad Lincoln was picked in the first round (No. 4 overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006.

Left-hander Wes Musick and right-hander Frank Corolla joined Joseph as the only UH players drafted this season. Musick was snagged by the Colorado Rockies in the ninth round, and Corolla was taken by the Washington Nationals in the 19th round.

All three players are juniors and have one year of collegiate eligibility remaining. They have until Aug. 17 to sign with their respective teams. After that, they’ll have to return to school, and their names will be re-entered into next year’s draft pool.

The 6-3, 185-pound Joseph, who was the first Conference USA player drafted, was easily the Cougars’ best pitcher this season. Living by his fastball and slider, Joseph went 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA. He led the team in appearances (31), strikeouts (75), saves (11) and opposing batting average (.186). He was the only UH player selected to the All C-USA first team.

Joseph’s performance was a welcome sight to the pitching-starved Cougars. His numbers were also better than his freshman and sophomore campaigns, going 2-1 with a 5.72 ERA in 2008 and 1-1 with a 6.42 ERA in 2007.

Musick, a two-time All C-USA selection, came out much better in this year’s draft than last season, when he was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 24th round. He had the worst campaign of his collegiate career, going 5-7 with a 5.97 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 14 starts, but he finished on a strong note after starting 1-5 with a 7.80 ERA. Should Musick sign with the Rockies, he’d end his UH career with a 19-16 record and 4.34 ERA in three seasons.

Corolla, a transfer from Angelina Junior College, was used mostly as a reliever this season, going 1-4 with a 6.05 ERA in 18 appearances (six starts). He began the season as a starter, but was demoted to the bullpen after struggling midway through the season.

This was the second time Corolla was selected in the MLB draft. He was a 26th-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006 out of Magnolia High School in Pinehurst.


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