06/07/12 — Trojans' Rogers, Pirates' Wooten drafted

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Trojans' Rogers, Pirates' Wooten drafted

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 7, 2012 1:48 PM

Two more professional baseball dreams came true on the third day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Draft on Wednesday.

East Carolina junior John Wooten was selected in the 37th round by the Oakland Athletics. A short time later, Mount Olive College senior Jacob Rogers was grabbed in the 40th round by the Chicago Cubs.

"Jacob is a great kid and he has worked really hard to get where he is," Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. "He was on about every finalist list for the different national player-of-the-year awards and he has really built himself into a quality player."

Rogers stood out during his final season at Scarborough Field. He led the Trojans in home runs with 17 and fashioned a .392 batting average. Rogers' .527 on-base percentage was also tops on the team.

Having become accustomed to watching his players get selected during the draft, Lancaster was happy for his senior leader, but a little puzzled by some of the names not taken off the draft board.

"We were a little surprised that a few other guys were not selected," Lancaster said. "We kind of assumed that we would have to recruit a catcher or two to replace Geno Escalante, but that is not the case and as coaches we are more than glad to have him coming back."

The decision whether or not to come back is one that Wooten must weigh over the next month.

Wooten was one of the offensive standouts for the Pirates in 2012. He led the team in average (.338), home runs (nine), slugging percentage (.502), runs (50), total bases (119), and shared the team lead in RBI (40) with Corey Thompson.

After graduating from Eastern Wayne in 2009, Wooten was selected in the 20th round by the San Diego Padres. He chose to pursue his education and wear the purple and gold instead. Now he must once again choose between college or the minor leagues.

All draft picks who have not graduated from college have until July 13 to either sign an offer sheet or return to their respective college programs.