Warming up to play with the Oneonta Outlaws on June 10, Quin Cotton’s father pulled him aside.
Anthony Cotton didn’t have inspiring pre-game words, rather he had some exciting news to share with his son, who is just a month removed from his graduation from Regis Jesuit High School.
The hometown Colorado Rockies had called and chosen the multi-talented outfielder in the 38th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. It’s a conversation only a 1,000 or so players could have in the entire country and it happened for the Cottons, fittingly on a field in New York before a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game.
“I forwarded my calls to my dad and when the Rockies called, he answered,” recalled Cotton, the No. 1,130th player selected.
“He ended up telling me while warmed up for a game. It was a very special moment for us to share,” he added. “Being drafted is something I had hoped for, so to see it come to fruition was amazing.”
Talent, of course, is a prerequisite to going in the 40-round MLB Draft — Cotton flashed plenty with his .514 batting average, 15 extra base hits and 28 RBI as a senior, which helped him earn co-Continental League Player of the Year honors — but playing for Regis Jesuit most certainly helps the cause as is evidenced by recent results.
Cotton’s fellow 2016 senior, right-handed pitcher Bo Weiss, also was selected in the draft nine rounds earlier (No. 878 overall by the New York Yankees), making it five straight years that at least two former Regis Jesuit players went in the draft. This year it was three, as former Raiders ace pitcher Peter Bayer (a 2012 graduate) was picked in the ninth round by the Tampa Bay Rays out of Division II Cal Poly Pomona.
Because of how late they were drafted, Cotton and Weiss — son of Colorado Rockies manager and former Regis Jesuit coach Walt Weiss — still plan to play in college with Grand Canyon University and North Carolina, respectively, unless something drastic changes before the July 15 deadline to sign. They can reenter the draft in a few years with hopes of going higher.
“It was a really cool opportunity that not everyone gets to experience,” Bo Weiss said before he had orientation in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“Even though it was more of a courtesy type round, it was really cool to be picked, especially by one of the storied programs in baseball,” he added.
Weiss (7-1 with a 2.91 ERA as a senior) said he would have considered forgoing college if he’d been drafted in the first four rounds.
Bayer, on the other hand, now has his shot at a professional career.
— Peter Bayer (@PeterBayer47) June 15, 2016
The 2012 Regis Jesuit grad — a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-hander — pitched for Richmond University out of high school and then transferred to Cal Poly Pomona, where he was 2-2 with a 4.39 ERA and a California Collegiate Athletic Association-best 103 strikeouts in his senior season.
As a senior at Regis Jesuit in 2012, Bayer finished with an 8-0 mark and 2.51 ERA in 55 2/3 innings on his way to making the Aurora Sentinel’s All-City Baseball Team, along with the Raiders’ other top-line starter, David Peterson, who is now at the University of Oregon. Bayer also started the 2011 Class 5A state championship game won by the Raiders.
Regis Jesuit has had at least one player — either straight out of high school or out of college — selected in the MLB Draft for at least eight straight seasons and multiple picks in five straight years.
Last season, it was Matt Schmidt and Brent Schwarz, then in 2014 it was Max George (a sixth-round pick who signed with the Colorado Rockies) and Peterson, while Weiss’ brother Brody, plus Andrew Schmidt and Cole Norton went in 2013 and Ty Blach (currently with the San Francisco Giants’ Triple-A team) and Chris O’Dowd were the former Regis Jesuit players picked in 2012.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel