On day two of the 2017 MLB Draft, University of Utah baseball pitchers Riley Ottesen and Jayson Rose along with third baseman Dallas Carroll were drafted. Ottesen was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth round with the 160th overall pick. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Rose in the eighth round with the 234th overall pick and Carroll in the ninth round with the 264th overall pick. This was the first time in program history that three Utes were drafted in the first nine rounds.
“I dreamt it was possible,” Ottesen said as he sported his new Dodgers t-shirt and cap. “But I never really thought it would be something that was going to be a reality. It’s a little over my head right now. I’m still trying to grasp the whole concept. It’s so surreal that I’m a Dodger. It’s exciting.”
Ottesen recently finished a 5-4 sophomore season with a 4.93 ERA as Utah’s Saturday starter. He started 15 games, and he made one relief appearance where he earned a save. Over the course of 95 innings pitched, he had 72 strikeouts to his name. While at Utah, Ottesen had a total of 119 career strikeouts, and he held a 5.37 ERA as he posted a 7-6 record with three saves over a total of 39 career appearances. In his last outing as a Ute, Ottesen tallied 11 strikeouts — a career-high — to help Utah clinch the series win against Arizona State.
Ottesen said he is looking forward to going out and proving to the Dodgers organization and fans that the fifth round was for him.
“You look at big time guys, like Clayton Kershaw for example,” Ottesen said. “He’s just a big-time pitcher. He started with the Dodgers so if the Dodgers can turn him to the amazing pitcher that he is, I might as well be the next guy.”
In 2012, the Utah native who pitched at American Fork High School signed with the Utes before serving a mission in Japan for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The second Ute and pitcher to hear his name called was Rose. The three-time All-Pac-12 player wrapped up his junior season this past year where he added his name to the record books, once again. He reached a career-high and program record of 256 career strikeouts. The season before, Rose set the bar for the Utah single-season strikeout record with 106.
Rose has a 19-13 career record and 3.23 ERA. This past season, he went 8-3 to lead Utah in wins, which also ranked him fifth in the Pac-12. Eighty-two strikeouts in his final season with Utah was what the once named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week was able to rack up.
Carroll, a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection who was named to the 2017 Pac-12 All-Defensive team, made 188 career starts as the Utah third baseman. A .311 career batting average belonged to Carroll who also compiled a .418 on-base percentage. In his final season, the Utah local not only led Utah, but he was ranked fourth in the conference in batting average, second in slugging percentage at .591 and an on-base percentage of .465. Fifty-two RBIs placed him fourth in the Pac-12, while his hits per game at 1.43 ranked him third.
The three-time honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic team-pick and Utah’s first Pac-12 Player of the Week played five seasons in a Utah uniform with a medical redshirt under his belt after breaking his collarbone in 2014. Carroll has an identical twin brother Dalton, also a former Ute, was drafted last season by the Atlanta Braves as a pitcher.
“We learn from each other,” Ottesen said. “We build each other up and that’s just what the U is all about. We’re helping each other out and building off each other. It’s cool to see guys like Jayson Rose, with the stud he is and the hard worker that he is and same with Dallas Carroll. He’s an amazing player, amazing guy, amazing teammate. I grew up playing with him ever since I started baseball so it’s amazing to see both of us pursue our dream.”
On the final day of the MLB Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected junior pitcher and outfielder Andre Jackson in the 12th round with the 370th overall pick. This marked the second time the two-way athlete had been drafted. Jackson was previously selected by the Texas Rangers in the 32nd round out of Cienega High School.
Jackson underwent Tommy John surgery last offseason, which forced him to redshirt the 2017 year. Before missing this past season, Jackson played in 78 career games where he made 55 starts, had 12 appearances on the mound, and he entered the game 11 times in relief in 2016. As a Ute, Jackson hit .236 to go along with his 10 doubles and 25 RBIs.
Nevada pitcher and Utah signee Brett Brocoff was drafted out of Desert Oasis High School by the Atlanta Braves in the 28th round with the 830th overall pick.
Players have until July 15 to make their decision on whether to take the college route or sign with the MLB.