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MLB Draft Recap: Four Longhorns hear name called (Article by Taylor Smith)

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Over the course of the three-day MLB draft, four Longhorns heard their names called.

Tres Barrera, Ty Culbreth, Morgan Cooper and Bret Boswell were all given the opportunity to continue their dreams of playing baseball at the professional level. Not sure if all will sign.

Barrera went first when the Washington Nationals selected him in the sixth round. Barrera is the first Longhorn catcher since Cameron Rupp to be taken within the first 10 rounds - the Phillies took Rupp in the third round in 2011. Barrera finished his junior year at Texas with a .289 batting average, starting in all 57 games. During the Big 12 tournament, he hit .350 including a home run and six RBI over five games.

Senior left-handed pitcher Culbreth heard his name called next, going in the eighth round to the Colorado Rockies. Culbreth earned All-Big 12 Conference second team honors, finishing his senior season 8-4 with a 3.74 ERA. He threw a career-high 86.2 innings while striking out a career-high 78 batters. The senior graduated with a 14-9 overall record including a 3.47 ERA in 171.1 innings pitched.

On the third day of the draft, the Washington Nationals drafted another Longhorn – right-handed pitcher Cooper. The red-shirt sophomore missed the entire 2015 season because of Tommy John surgery. In 2016, Cooper pitched 67 innings finishing with a 3-5 record and a 4.03 ERA. Prior to surgery, in his freshman year, Cooper pitched 56 innings, finishing with a 4-2 record and a 2.89 ERA.

Boswell was the last Longhorn drafted with the Pittsburg Pirates selecting him in the 40th round. Boswell is also a red-shirt sophomore and earned a spot on the Big 12-All Tournament team after batting .600 with three doubles and one triple. He plated four runs and drew four walks. Boswell finished the season with a .241 batting average, playing in 44 games – only 34 starts. He sat out his freshman year at UT with a wrist injury. Last season, Boswell hit for a .253 average.

Besides four current Longhorns hearing their names called, five signees were also drafted. Left-handed pitcher Kyle Muller, right-handed pitcher Mason Thompson and outfielder Conner Capel all heard their names before Barrera was drafted. Muller was the first signee to be drafted when the Atlanta Braves selected him in the second round, No. 44th overall. After Culbreth’s name was called, the final two signees heard their names – right-handed pitcher Blair Henley and short stop Davis Hamilton - before Cooper and Boswell were selected.

It is unclear if Cooper and Boswell will sign considering they have two more years left in a Longhorn jersey to improve their draft number. Barrera is likely to sign with the Nationals, especially after tweeting, “Want to thank the Washington Nationals for the great opportunity! It’s only the beginning! Proud to be apart of the D.C. family.” Culbreth, having finished his last season of eligibility at Texas, tweeted “Thanks to the @Rockies, I finally get to live out a life long dream. Thx @Texas_Baseball for everything you’ve done. On to the mile high city.”

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