When the Cowboy baseball team takes the field next season, it will do so without some of the big names that helped them finish second in the Big 12 and reach the regional final at the NCAA tournament.
It starts in the bullpen where next season OSU coach Josh Holliday and pitching coach Rob Walton will have to replace two-thirds of their weekend rotation with both Jonathan Heasley and Carson Teel going pro.
Sophomore Jonathan Heasley was drafted in the 13th round by the Kansas City Royals. It was believed that Heasley was leaning toward returning, but last week he signed a $247,500 contract with Royals.
Such a blessing to have the opportunity to start my professional baseball career in the Royals organization. None of this would have been possible without support from family, friends, teammates and coaches. Thank you Oklahoma State for an unforgettable two years. God is good! pic.twitter.com/6m1sqFjDTY
— Jonathan Heasley (@jonathanheasley) June 10, 2018
Heasley’s last appearance for OSU will go down as his best. In an elimination game against South Florida in the DeLand Regional, Heasley pitched his first collegiate complete game, allowing only an unearned run while striking out seven, keeping OSU’s hopes alive.
Fellow weekend starting pitcher Carson Teel also signed his contract with the Washington Nationals franchise, who drafted him in the 16th round. Teel, an All-Big 12 First Team selection, was huge for OSU during it’s five-straight Big 12 series win streak earlier in the season. He went 8-4 this season with a 4.34 era.
The former walk-on says he just felt that this was his time to take the next step.
“I’m definitely going to miss being at this university, because it was my dream to be here since I was a kid,” said Teel to the Stillwater News Press. “I think you’ve got to realize you’re at a point where you’ve got to take that next step and see what you can do at the next level.”
Thank you to my family, my teammates, and coaches at @OSUBaseball for the unforgettable 4 years. I’m glad I was part of wins and championships at such an amazing university. I’m excited to start my professional career with the Washington Nationals! God Bless! #P4L #BuddyOut??
— Carson Teel (@CarsonTeel) June 11, 2018
Right-handed pitcher Reza Aleaziz has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who drafted him in the 28th round. Despite only playing one season in Stillwater, Aleaziz credits Coachs Holliday and Walton with saving his career.
“I couldn’t be more blessed, honestly. Coach Holliday, Walton and Vilade saved my baseball career,” said Aleaziz to the Stillwater News Press. “At this point last year, I didn’t even know if I wanted to play, so that’s first and foremost. It’s been a great year.
“As a team, we had ups and downs. Individually, the beginning of the year didn’t go as planned, but we stuck with it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m always going to be a Cowboy for life. I was only there for a year, but it felt like I was there my whole college career.”
The reliever finished his season with a 3-1 record and 4.47 era.
— Reza Aleaziz (@reza_aleaziz) June 12, 2018
Along with starting pitchers, the Cowboys will also need a new go-to bat with Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Matt Kroon headed to the minors after just one season in Stillwater.
The junior outfielder was the Philadelphia Phillies’ 18th pick. He was also easily the Cowboys’ best hitter finishing with a team-leading .300 batting average to go with 11 home runs, 18 doubles, and 18 steals.
The opportunity to play for OSU is something I will forever be grateful for. I had the time of my life, while making friendships that will last a lifetime. Thank you to the city of Stillwater for becoming my home the past year. I cherished every minute. As always, Go Pokes!?
— Matt Kroon (@Matty_Iceeee) June 9, 2018
Finally, senior outfielder Jon Littell, will sign with the Dodgers who picked him in the 37th round.
Littell batted .266 and notched 42 RBIs this season, with his best performances coming at the end of the season getting at least one hit in eight of his final 11 games.