Gaub taken with 641st pick of draft

Robert Mews

For nearly all of last week’s Major League Baseball draft, there wasn’t much action for Minnesota’s baseball players.

Senior pitcher John Gaub was the only Gophers player selected, taken in the 21st round with the 641st pick of the draft by the Cleveland Indians. The Big Ten Conference had 13 players drafted.

Gaub struggled on the mound last season after an offseason arm surgery. He appeared in eight games, going 1-3 with a 4.64 ERA, which were among his career lows.

“At the end of the season he never really came around like he had pitched before,” pitching coach Todd Oakes said.

Both coach John Anderson and Oakes said the Indians organization might be trying to make a steal by getting Gaub this season with the late-round draft pick.

They said that’s because the team is hoping Gaub will get his 94-mph fastball back after an uncharacteristic season. Then they’ll be able to sign him for the minimal amount of money that a late-round pick usually receives.

“It was a way for the team to take him in the draft and watch him,” Oakes said, “because if he’s back to form and throwing like he can Ö it would cost a lot more to sign him (later) then what it would be right now.”

But the lack of Minnesota draftees is likely to help the team next season, mostly because it now has its top pitcher back.

In a somewhat surprising development, pitcher Cole DeVries will enter his senior season undrafted, after being passed over in the 50-round draft.

Anderson said that decision is a result of more juniors in college wanting to stay in school.

“I think you’re seeing less and less juniors sign (contracts) unless they are in the top five rounds,” he said.

Anderson said the decision to sign for many juniors is coming down to money – something he said DeVries wanted in order to leave early.

“He said he wasn’t going to leave school unless he got a certain amount of money,” Anderson said. “He was obviously worthy of being drafted, but they didn’t draft him because he was unsignable based on how they (MLB teams) graded him out.”

For the Gophers, DeVries has been a considerable contributor to one of the better Big Ten pitching staffs.

Minnesota posted a team ERA of 4.04 – third best in the conference. DeVries posted the third-best individual ERA in the conference at 2.42.

Former player hits off Clemens

Future Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens has his way of making batters look foolish at the plate.

But former Minnesota baseball player Matt Fornasiere hardly looked foolish after roping a double off “The Rocket” last Tuesday in Lexington, Ky.

Clemens was making his first rehabilitation start on the Houston Astros’ Class-A team, the Lexington Legends, while Fornasiere was playing for the Lake County Captains in the Cleveland Indians organization.

“It’s exciting for Matt,” Anderson said. “He’ll have a story to tell the rest of his life.”