By Pete Ruden | firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Hawkeyes came closer to making a dream come true Tuesday.
The Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles selected Jake Adams and Mason McCoy in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
The two are the highest Hawkeyes drafted since Wes Obermueller, who was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the second round in 1999.
A lot was expected from Adams at the beginning of the year when head coach Rick Heller and Company praised his raw power again and again.
The transfer from DMACC delivered and inked his name in the record books.
He sent 29 baseballs over the fence, good enough for the NCAA lead and more than enough to shatter the school record.
Adams also led the team with a .335 batting average and 72 RBIs, demonstrating that he was much more than a power hitter.
Iowa infielder Mason McCoy throws towards first base for the double play during the first round of the Big Ten Tournament between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Maryland Terrapins in Bloomington, Indiana on Thursday, May 25, 2017. The game was back and forth all the way until the end with the Hawkeyes winning 9-8. (The Daily Iowan/ Alex Kroeze)
As for McCoy, it has been a long road to the draft.
He was skipped over in last year’s draft. But after batting .328 with 34 RBIs, the Washington, Illinois, native made sure he wouldn’t get passed up again.
Along with his prowess at the plate, McCoy was incredible in the field. Moving to his natural position of shortstop from third base this past season, McCoy only committed 9 errors on 340 balls hit his way.
Though they may not sign or get drafted at all, two other Hawkeyes — pitchers Nick Gallagher and Ryan Erickson — have a chance to hear their names called.
Gallagher was Iowa’s ace all season, and he certainly proved his worth with a 3.48 ERA. The Iowa City native also finished the year with a team-high 8 wins, while only suffering 2 losses.
Before the draft took place, Gallagher was ranked No. 339 on Baseball America’s list of the top 500 MLB Draft prospects, meaning there is a chance a team could take him.
Erickson, on the other hand, was huge for the Hawkeyes late in the season, stepping up when injuries clouded the pitching staff.
In the Big Ten Tournament, he shut out No. 1-seed Nebraska in 7.2 innings of work. He followed that up in a regional game against No. 1 seed Houston, allowing just 4 hits and 2 earned runs en route to earning the win.
While not all of Iowa’s draft prospects may go on to the next level this year, some will.
However, Gallagher and Erickson are more than likely going to stay at Iowa, if they even hear their names called. Another year of development could help the draft stock of both come next June.
With key players leaving, however, the makeup of next season’s team will certainly be different. McCoy’s leadership and Adams’ power will definitely be missed, along with the many other things they did to propel their team.
Their time at Iowa was great and will surely be remembered for years to come; right now, they have a chance to make their dreams a reality.