Two Gophers pitchers are picked in draft

Mike Diebolt and Justin Pederson, senior Gophers pitchers, were selected on Tuesday in the major league baseball free agent amateur draft.
Diebolt, a left-hander from Mayfield Village, Ohio, was picked by the Detroit Tigers with the first pick of the seventh round. Pederson, from Chippewa Falls, Wis., went in the 15th round to the Kansas City Royals.
The pair’s respective new teams were to call them back on Tuesday night to discuss contracts and minor league assignments. Both players went a bit higher than they expected.
“I had heard in that range, but until something like that happens you never believe it,” said Diebolt, who broke Dave Winfield’s school record for strikeouts in a season in 1997. “So it was nice to hear.”
Diebolt, 7-4 with a 3.99 earned run average this season, said that he didn’t have much time to talk details with the Tigers scout because he had to hurry to class. When he got back, he found out about Pederson.
“I really didn’t have much of an idea (where I’d be drafted), but I figured I’d be somewhere in the 20s,” Pederson said. “Maybe even later.”
Pederson had a disappointing senior year for the Gophers, going 4-6 with a 6.22 ERA, but still dramatically improved his draft position from a year ago. He was a 40th round selection by the Twins in 1996.
“It’s exciting, it’s a relief,” he said. “Knowing what’s happened, now I get that unexpected out of there.”
Mike Larson of the Major League Scouting Bureau said that two other Gophers, outfielder Troy Stein and catcher Bryan Guse, have an outside chance of being drafted during the next few days.
— Tim Klobuchar