Morgan Cooper’s professional career may just begin where his collegiate career ended.
The Texas right-hander was taken Monday night by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 62nd overall pick of the MLB first-year player draft. That was in the second round.
The 6-4, 215-pound pitcher is the first Longhorn drafted by the Dodgers since outfielder Kyle Russell in the third round of the 2008 draft.
— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) June 13, 2017
Cooper, who was selected by Washington in the 34th round of last year’s draft, earned all-conference and All-American honors during his junior year. Over 89.1 innings in 2017, he went 6-3 with a 2.32 ERA and 110 strikeouts. He issued just 33 walks, and his opponents’ batting average of .204 ranked third in the Big 12.
In his final start, Cooper threw eight innings of six-hit baseball in an NCAA regional game at Long Beach State on June 3.
A redshirt junior, Cooper missed the 2015 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has a year of eligibility remaining, but he told the American-Statesman last month that this was likely his last season at Texas. The Jarrell native recently graduated with a degree in degree in sport management and a minor in business.
If he’s on the fence, Cooper will have until July 15 to decide whether to return to Texas or sign with the Dodgers. The estimated value of Cooper’s signing bonus is $1 million.
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