Rex Brothers became the first Lipscomb player in 24 years to be drafted in the first round when the Colorado Rockies made him the 34th overall selection on Monday.
Sort of. The pick was a compensatory one awarded to the Rockies at the end of Round One.
Projected by some to be one of the top 20 overall prospects in this year’s draft, Brothers instead had to wait through the entire first round, a 15-minute break and then one more selection before his name finally was called – much to the delight of the nearly 100 people gathered at his family home.
“It happened great,” Brothers said. “We had that little bit of a break and I was wondering, ‘What’s going on here? I thought I was supposed to be gone by now.’ Then right after that, I got picked.”
Pitcher Bo McLaughlin in 1975 was Lipscomb’s last first-rounder.
A hard-throwing left-hander, Brothers is tied for fifth in NCAA Division I with 132 strikeouts this season, prior to the start of the College World Series.
The junior was named a first-team All-Atlantic Sun selection when he led the conference in opponents’ average and strikeouts this season. He was 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA and four complete games. In 2007, he was the conference’s freshman of the year.
“It’s a milestone and a lifelong dream come true,” he said. “I feel like I worked hard enough for it.”
He said he hoped to sign a contract as quickly as possible and to begin pitching professionally this summer.
“The Colorado Rockies took a chance on me,” he said. “Whether it was me or somebody else, any pick you make is a little bit of a risk. I intend to repay that trust.”