Windle drafted in second round by Los Angeles Dodgers

Jace Frederick

Tom Windle became the first Gophers player drafted in the second round of the MLB draft Thursday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers selected him with the 56th overall pick.

Windle said he received a call from a member of the Dodgers scouting department congratulating him on joining the organization. He celebrated the moment with a group of his family and friends.

“It just felt really good to … have something really cool happen in my life," he said. "This is what I’ve been waiting for.”

Windle, the ace of the Gophers pitching staff this spring, finished the season 6-4 with a 2.14 earned-run average and four complete games. He was named first-team All-Big Ten for his efforts.

With the selection, the Dodgers are adding a versatile pitcher to their organization, Windle said.

“I think they’re going to have a good pitcher whether I start or pitch relief, and [I'll] be able to throw strikes and I’m a hard worker,” he said.

Thursday marked the second time Windle has been selected in the MLB draft. He was taken in the 28th round of the 2010 draft by the Chicago White Sox, but he chose to forgo professional baseball and attend the University of Minnesota.

Three years later, the junior said he’s more mature and physically stronger.

“I’ve developed more as a pitcher, and I think that’s what’s just stepped up my game this time around,” he said.

Windle said he hoped to be drafted in the first two rounds. His selection marked the highest a Gophers pitcher has been taken since the Minnesota Twins picked Glen Perkins 22nd overall in 2004.

“I had high expectations for myself,” he said. “Just to be selected in the second round — it’s an honor to be selected in that group of guys.”

Windle said he’s ready to play professional baseball.

“Just to be part of any Major League Baseball organization is pretty amazing,” he said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity.”