Hochevar Part of Baseball History
Last night, the Royals top pitching prospect made history.
Starting for Double-A Wichita Tuesday night in Tulsa, Luke Hochevar, the Royals top pick in 2006, faced Greg Reynolds, who was selected second overall by Colorado last year. It marked the first time in professional baseball history that the top two picks from the same draft started against each other in a game. And, it appears the moment was worth the wait.
Hochevar allowed an unearned run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. Reynolds didn’t allow any runs on two hits over five innings. He struck out one batter, while walking only one as well. Neither are getting the win since the game was suspended due to lightning after 11 innings tied, 1-1. Talk about historical drama. The game is scheduled to be completed at 12:05 p.m. today.
Reynolds, who entered the game 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA in seven games, left after five innings because he was on a limited pitch count in his return from right-shoulder inflammation. He threw 48 pitches. Hochevar carried a 3-6 record and a 5.05 ERA into the contest.
According to research done by Minor League Baseball, the only other time in the draft, which has been around since 1965, that pitchers were taken with the top two picks was in 1976 when Houston drafted Floyd Bannister (dad of Royals starter Brian Bannister) and Detroit followed by picking Pat Underwood. The two never faced each other in the Minors and didn’t start against each other in the Majors. They did meet twice, in 1979 and 1982, with Bannister starting and Underwood pitching in relief.