College Sports

Baseball draft | SCF pitcher Taylor Cockrell goes in 23rd round to Atlanta Braves

State College of Florida head coach Tim Hill II began the 2015 MLB Draft thinking four of his players had a strong chance of being chosen. With the Braves' selection of Taylor Cockrell in the 23rd round, all four of the likely SCF draftees have a professional home.

Atlanta used the 690th pick of the Draft to take the Manatees' star right-hander after his sophomore year at the State College of Florida. He is the first Manatee selected as a pitcher, and joins first baseman Brad Zunica and shortstops Mitch Piatnik and Brantley Bell as SCF players selected during the 2015 Draft.

Cockrell came to Bradenton before this past season after one year with Stetson and posted a 2.34 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 17 starts for State College of Florida. As an outfielder, Cockrell batted .296 with a .432 slugging percentage.

During his only season with the Hatters, the Lake Wales alumnus logged 97 1/3 innings with a 4.35 ERA. Cockrell is committed to Division II national champion University of Tampa where he could play with Zunica if both turn down professional contracts.