With a rather surprising season, the 2017 OU baseball team has built up a large amount of talent. Usually when a school fields a good squad, the MLB Draft begins to pick at that talent. However, the 2017 MLB Draft did not empty the nucleus. Four Sooner were selected while one was later signed as an undrafted free agent. With the MLB Draft being long gone, it’s time to look at how these Sooners are faring.
Devon Perez: Perez wasn’t spectacular this season, going 6-2 in 14 appearances with a 3.50 ERA. However, Perez was the second Sooner selected as he was selected in the 21st round by the Los Angeles Angels. However, Perez decided to return to his beloved school and help Head Coach Skip Johnson bring a Big 12 championship to OU.
Renae Martinez: The argument can be made that Martinez has been one of the most important Sooners of the last two years. After destroying the competition in the Alaska Summer League and for El Camino Community College, Martinez transferred to OU with much hype. His first season wasn’t great, yet he came back with a vengeance in the form of a .323 batting average, seven home runs, and 37 runs batted in.
Martinez was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 33rd round. Martinez continues to rake as he is hitting .310 with two home-runs and 11 RBI’s in 13 games for the AZL Diamondbacks (Rookie Ball).
Vincenzo Aiello: Aiello came to OU as a graduate transfer from Rider University in New Jersey. He didnt fare well as he made 24 appearances out of the bullpen with a 5.47 ERA. Aiello was taken in the 28th round by the Miami Marlins. He made two appearances for the GCL Marlins before getting called up to the Short Season A Batavia Muckdogs. Aiello has a 5.63 ERA between both stops.
JB Olson: Olson was the definitive closer of the 2017 Sooners. Olson was rather consistent in 2017. Boasting a 1.99 and a 5-1 record with eight saves. With a rather special season, Olson was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 10th round. Olson has been stellar for the Great Falls Voyagers with a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings pitched.
Austin Kerns: Austin’s Sooner career had many ups and downs. He was a part of the weekend rotation and in most cases a lefty specialist and just graduated from OU in May. Kerns had one year of eligibility remaining — as he had only completed his redshirt junior season — but signed as an undrafted free agent a few weeks after the draft. In eight innings for the Greeneville Astros, Kerns’ ERA is at 14.63.
This Sooner draft class has the possibility of being rather important in terms of the present and future. Renae Martinez and JB Olson are taking their college success to the next level and are looking to be great. Also, Coach Johnson will be getting back an important piece in Devon Perez. Nonetheless the 2018 MLB Draft Class for OU could be highlighted by some true talents like Steele Walker and Jake Irvin. With that being said, the 2018 Sooner baseball squad looks to be very exciting.