June 5, 2012
University of Minnesota junior pitcher TJ Oakes (Jordan, Minn.) was drafted by the Colorado Rockies with the 10th pick in the 11th round (348th overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday afternoon. Drafted in the 41st round of the 2011 draft (1,258th pick overall), Oakes improved 30 rounds to go 348th overall and 11th this season. He is the first Golden Gopher drafted by the Colorado Rockies since Keith Krenke in 1992.
A 6-foot, 5-inch 225 pound right-handed pitcher, Oakes completed his junior year in 2012. Earning First Team All-Big Ten honors this season, he was also a third-team selection his sophomore and freshman seasons. In 14 starts for the Golden Gophers this year, Oakes held a 7-3 record and a 2.31 earned run average. Holding a sub 2.00 ERA a majority of the season, Oakes lowered his ERA every year he was with the Gophers (3.62 as a freshman, 3.26 his sophomore year). Named the team's pitcher of the year, he led the Big Ten Conference in strikeouts looking (27), third in overall strikeouts (78), fourth in ERA and innings pitched (97.1). Named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame Watch List, Oakes received Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors in a 1-0 win over UW-Milwaukee in just his second start of the season. Pitching two of the Gophers' three complete games this year, Minnesota was 9-5 when he was on the mound.
Oakes is the son of current Gophers pitching coach Todd Oakes, who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and played four years in the organization. In 1987, he moved into the coaching ranks and spent the next 12 years as a pitching coach at various levels of the organization.
Baseball America Scouting Report on Oakes
"Oakes is exactly what you'd expect from the son of a pitching coach. Todd Oakes has had 18 pitchers drafted (including big leaguers Glen Perkins and John Gaub) during his tenure at the University of Minnesota, including TJ, a 41st-round choice of the Twins a year ago as a 21-year-old sophomore. He'll go 30-35 rounds earlier in 2012, as his fastball has added 2 mph to 90-93. A strong 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, he can maintain his newfound velocity deep into games and locate his fastball where he wants while cutting, running, sinking and tailing it. His slider and changeup are fringy but he can throw them for strikes.
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