Two Utes selected in MLB draft

By Bubba Brown, Staff Writer

Two Utah pitchers have been selected in the 2009 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

Senior Brian Budrow was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 28th round and was the 846th player overall. Three rounds later, fellow right-hander Jordan Whatcott was made the 951st overall pick by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Budrow was named to the All-Mountain West Conference second-team after posting a solid season for the Utes. He finished 5-5 with a 5.75 ERA and finished third in the league with 79 strikeouts.

“I feel pretty confident I’ve got good enough stuff to play at least a few more years,” Budrow told the Deseret News.

Also a second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection, Whatcott went 5-3 and led the Utes with a 4.19 ERA.

Whatcott had hoped to be selected on the second day of the draft which spans rounds 5-30, but fell to the 31st round.

“Scouts hadn’t said anything as to the round,” Whatcott said. “Coaches had told me early to mid second day. Unfortunately it fell to the third day, but I’m very excited for this opportunity.”

Adding to a list of recent Utah players who have been drafted by Los Angeles that includes Jay Brossman in 2007 and Ryan Bailey in 2001, Whatcott feels fortunate to be drafted by an organization such as the Angels.

“Not many organizations are as exciting to play for,” Whatcott said. “In addition to their history of developing young players, there are great places to play all throughout the minor leagues and hopefully eventually Los Angeles. The fans in Los Angeles are great and it’s a great town.”

However, Whatcott has the option of returning to Utah for his senior season, rather than signing with the Angels.

“The Angels have yet to offer a contract,” Whatcott said. “Once that happens I’ll be better able to make a judgment as to whether I want to sign, or to continue my education and play my senior season with Utah.”

Whatcott’s age will also factor into his decision. The hurler is older than most collegiate baseball players because he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Being older definitely doesn’t help your stock,” Whatcott said. “It makes me more mature. A mission forces you to grow up and deal with tough decisions. However, when scouts see an older player and a younger player, the younger player has the advantage because the team has time to develop him.”

Whatcott has until August 15, the deadline for draftees to sign, to make his decision.

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