Ole Miss pitcher Pomeranz drafted fifth overall

By Eric Besson

Daily Mississippian, U. Mississippi via UWIRE

Ole Miss junior pitcher Drew Pomeranz became the third Rebel to be drafted in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball amateur entry draft Monday night when the Cleveland Indians selected him fifth overall.

“It’s definitely an exciting time, sitting there and waiting for that moment in the draft,” Pomeranz said. “I’m glad to finally have it over and know something more about what my future holds.”

His excitement reached its peak right before he was selected.

“My heart was definitely racing a little bit more right before that pick because I’ve seen it a lot before [where someone thinks they are going to be picked at a certain spot and it doesn’t happen]. I felt pretty confident that Cleveland would pick me, and it’s just an awesome feeling to actually have it happen.”

The 6-foot-5 230-pound Pomeranz was drafted out of high school in 2007 by the Texas Rangers in the 12th round, and he saw his draft stock rise during the summer of 2009 when he went 4-1 with a 1.75 ERA for the USA Collegiate National Team.

He pitched 25.2 innings and struck out 48 batters during the campaign.

“We’re very excited and proud of Drew and know it’s a special day for him,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “It’s one that most people would feel that he deserves. He’s worked so hard since he’s been here to make himself into the best college pitcher in the country.”

The Collierville, Tenn. native may have put the finishing touches on a great Rebel career in 2010, going 9-2 with a 2.24 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 100.2 innings.

Just a month before starting the international competition, Pomeranz turned in one of the more memorable Ole Miss baseball performances in 2009 when he helped the Rebels reach the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals with a two-hit complete game against Western Kentucky on two days’ rest, striking out 16 and walking one.

As a freshman, Pomeranz was named to both the Freshman All- America and All-SEC Freshman teams after appearing in 17 games, starting 11, and going 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 71.1 innings. He followed with an All-SEC Second Team selection his sophomore year, posting a 8-4 record and team-leading 3.40 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 95.1 innings.

The Indians have until August 15 to sign Pomeranz to a contract.

If a deal cannot be reached, he can return to Ole Miss if he does not sign with an agent, or he can play in a semi-professional league until next June, when he would re-enter the draft.

“I haven’t even talked to the Indians at all yet,” Pomeranz said.

“They are going to call me, so I’m waiting for them to call me back and then I’ll talk to them about things.”

Chris Coghlan and Lance Lynn are the only two former Rebels to be selected in the first round.

Both were taken in the supplemental portion of the round, with Coghlan going No. 36 to the Florida Marlins in 2006 and Lynn No. 39 to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008.

The Indians last won the American League Central division in 2007 before losing in the Wild Card round to the New York Yankees.

In 2008 and 2009, the Indians finished third and fourth, respectively, and they are currently dwelling in the cellar, 13 games back of first place.

The Washington Nationals selected 17-year-old Bryce Harper with the first overall selection.

He was followed by high schoolers Jameson Taillon (Pirates) and Manny Machado (Orioles) and Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon (Royals) before the Indians nabbed Pomeranz.

Read more here: http://www.thedmonline.com/article/pomeranz-drafted-fifth-overall
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