LSU signee Riley Pint, a power right-handed pitcher who has touched 102 mph with an electric fastball, was drafted No. 4 overall by the Colorado Rockies in Thursday’s Major League Baseball draft.
Pint, a Kansas native, was widely seen as a top-10 pick and even generated buzz as a possible No. 1 overall selection. The No. 4 overall pick has a slot value of $5,258,700.
Neither LSU coach Paul Mainieri nor recruiting coordinator Andy Cannizaro did not expect Pint to attend school as part of the Tigers’ 16-man, 2017 signing class.
Mainieri said it would have taken a “Gerrit Cole” type situation for the Tigers to land Pint.
Cole, a former UCLA standout, was drafted by the Yankees with the 28th pick of the 2008 MLB Draft, but instead opted to attend college, turning down a signing bonus well over slot value.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom Cole still plays, drafted Cole with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.
“It didn’t matter how much money he was offered out of high school, he was going to college,” Mainieri said of Cole. “He wanted the college experience. And was willing to wait. And it happens.”
“Obviously I think in Riley’s case that’s not the situation. Riley was upfront with us and honest all the way through, but as the spring has gone on, he’s allowed the scouting process to take place. A lot of organizations have invested a lot of time, a lot of effort into scouting him.”
Cannizaro said he “fully expected the Major League Baseball Draft to take care of Riley Pint.”
“If it works out for him the way that he wants it to, I wish him nothing but the best,” Mainieri said. “He’s a great kid, would have loved to have had him.”