PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Last week’s Major League Baseball Draft turned out to be a very special event for the University of Pennsylvania baseball program.
Four Quakers were selected, including right-handed pitcher Jake Cousins who was taken in the 20th round by the Washington Nationals.
“So I was pretty confident that my name was going to be called,” Cousins tells KYW Newsradio. “Just because I’ve had a couple of good years at Penn and I’ve been getting some good feedback. But I was actually very surprised about the Nationals picking me. Hadn’t talked to them on draft day actually, but I knew they were interested. I was actually just watching a movie with my (family) and my mom said, ‘Oh shoot, you’ve been picked by the Nationals!’ So yeah, it was really exciting.”
Cousins is coming off a senior season which saw him go 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA. He completed three of his 11 starts and struck out 59 batters in 68 2/3 innings. He went 20-7 for his career with a 2.91 ERA and the 20 wins are good for third all-time in program history. Cousins used an impressive repertoire to achieve that success.
“I throw four-seam, two-seam (fastball), change-up, curve ball, slider,” he says. “Then I would say that the thing that stands out for me is that I kind of come from a lower arm slot.”
The other Penn players drafted were RHP Billy Lescher (17th round) and RHP Jake Nelson (33rd round) by Detroit and LHP Adam Bleday by Houston (27th round). Cousins says being able to share this experience with his teammates is really big.
“It makes it even more special,” Cousins says. “It’s very exciting. We’re all very good friends and just been able to push each other throughout the year to get better and better.”
Cousins is starting his pro journey down at Washington’s extended spring training down in West Palm Beach, Florida.