For Oklahoma State head coach Josh Holliday, the goal hasn’t changed.
As of last week, Holliday and his staff will be looking to repair a plethora of tools and key pieces lost from this year’s MLB draft. Nine Cowboys heard their names called in the draft, which ranked third nationally for college players taken in the draft, and ranked fourth in program history.
“I’m excited for all (nine) of our players who were drafted,” Holliday said. “There’s a reason they were drafted. They all helped us maintain our status of national prominence, one that myself and the fans of (Oklahoma State) are proud of over these past two to three years.”
At first glance, the losses certainly outweigh those returning pieces, and a visible dent will undoubtedly be left in OSU’s roster come next season. The Cowboys will be losing at least two of their three starting pitchers including Justin Campbell and Victor Mederos. The Los Angeles Angels also drafted Bryce Osmond but he has not announced his plans to sign or return to OSU.
OSU will also be losing a bounty of offensive production from this past season. Replacing veteran pieces such as sixth-year senior Jake Thompson, who led the team with a .350 batting average, slugger Griffin Doersching and utility Nolan McLean.
Holliday encountered a similar situation after the 2016 season which saw the Cowboys make a run to the College World Series for the first time in nearly two decades. After the season, the program lost 11 players to the MLB draft.
“We’ve dealt with this before, it’s just a new chapter in our program,” Holliday said. “New guys will come in, old guys will leave. It’s just a part of the process. But we’re ready for what’s next.”
Ninety-one wins and two postseason appearances over a two-and-a-half year span will certainly be difficult to replace. It may not be next season that the Cowboys make a return to Omaha, but it also could be. Nonetheless, Holliday believes next year’s roster will be a special core in the coming years for OSU baseball.
“I’m very appreciative of what these players did for us,” Holliday said. “This core (and) this group of guys were a special group. But unfortunately all good things must come to an end.”