Rainbow Warrior trio, local recruit picked in MLB draft

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Three underclassmen from the University of Hawaii are in danger of leaving the program for the professional ranks.

Following statistically one of the best seasons in University of Hawaii baseball history, junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Brashears was selected with the 418th overall pick in the 14th round by the Tampa Bay Rays this morning. Brashears was electric in his only season for the ‘Bows in 2015, earning All-Big West 1st team honors with a 1.86 ERA in 101 2/3 innings pitched with 68 strikeouts.

Eight rounds later, another University of Hawaii starting pitcher was picked, when LJ Brewster was tabbed with the 656th pick of the 22nd round by the Miami Marlins. Brewster, a converted infielder, spent his first full season as a pitcher as the Friday night starter for the Rainbow Warriors. The right-hander tossed 94 2/3 innings with a 2.95 ERA.

In the 35th round, the Milwaukee Brewers plucked left-handed closer Quintin Torres-Costa with the 1,051st pick. The Waiakea graduate struggled in his role in the starting rotation to begin the season, posting an ERA over 10 through 3 starts. When the redshirt sophomore was promoted to the closer role out of the bullpen, Torres-Costa responded by firing 18 2/3 scoreless innings through the rest of the season. In that span, Torres-Costa notched 26 strikeouts and 8 saves, earning 2nd team All-Big West honors.

One Rainbow Warrior recruit was selected in Wednesday’s final day of the draft: Iolani outfielder Pikai Winchester. The Raider was picked in the 40th round by Tampa Bay following hitting .455 as a senior along the Ala Wai.

The three hurlers and Winchester will have until July 17th to negotiate a contract with their professional teams, or choose to play for the Rainbow Warriors in 2016.

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