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Turlock High alum Carrigg drafted by Rockies on Day One of MLB Draft
cole Carrigg dtafted
Cole Carrigg, a 2020 graduate of Turlock High, was drafted by the Colorado Rockies with the 65th pick in the 2023 MLB Draft on Sunday night (Graphic courtesy of MLB Pipeline).

Turlock High School alumnus and San Diego State star Cole Carrigg will be packing his bags for Colorado as the Rockies organization has selected him with the 65th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft on Sunday night. Carrigg, 20, is the 27th Bulldog to be drafted in the school’s 106-year history.

The 65th pick came in Round B of the draft, which is coined as the competitive balance round. The round immediately follows Round 2 and is reserved for the 10 lowest-revenue teams in the league.

This year’s draft was held at Lumen Field in Seattle, home of the Seahawks. Instead of making the trip up north, Carrigg, who graduated from Turlock High in 2020, spent the day in Turlock, surrounded by friends and family. He described the moments leading up to hearing his name get announced live on MLB Network by Raul Ibanez, a former major league All-Star and the current senior vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball:

“I was definitely anxious for a little bit. Majority of the time, I wasn't even in the house. I was just trying to get out to go outside and hang out with my brother to just kind of get away from it. I didn’t want to be staring at the TV the whole time. My agent called me a few picks before, and it was unbelievable,” he said. “It's everything I've ever dreamed of. I had that anticipation with only a few more picks left [in the day], which was kind of crazy, but it was amazing.”

The craziness that Carrigg referred to was the fact that he dropped to the competitive balance round despite being listed as the 47th best prospect in this year’s draft by MLB Pipeline, projecting him to be a mid-second round pick. His draft stock was supposedly boosted when he broke multiple throwing records at last month’s MLB Draft Combine in Arizona. Nevertheless, the unpredictability of professional sports draft prevailed.

The estimated slot value of the 65th pick is $1.18 million.

In his junior year at San Diego State this past season, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder led the Aztecs with a .303 batting average, 24 stolen bases and five triples to lead the Mountain West Conference. In addition, the Turlocker was among the team leaders in slugging percentage (.458), RBI (27), hits (47) and runs scored (30). In three seasons at SDSU, Carrigg batted .333 with seven homers, 34 doubles, 90 RBI, 101 runs scored and 39 stolen bases.

Carrigg was considered as one of the most versatile players in the draft. In his collegiate career, he has had 53 starts in center field, 24 at shortstop, 21 at third base, 17 at second, five at catcher, five in left field and two at designated hitter.

While Carrigg can play almost everywhere, he was announced as a catcher on draft night, his original position. He explained that, despite growing up as a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, he was inspired by San Francisco Giants legend Buster Posey.

“I love catching. I remember when I was younger, about eight years old, watching Buster Posey catching in the 2010 World Series, and I told my dad I wanted to be a catcher. It’s obviously early, so we haven’t talked about it, but as of right now, I think I'm going out there as a catcher first and then going to other spots from there,” he said.

Carrigg’s athleticism has been on display since he was a high schooler at Turlock under head coach Sean Gilbert. As a three-year varsity starter, he hit .400 with 60 hits, 18 walks, 33 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 48 games played.

“There's not much you can coach and teach a kid like that,” said Gilbert. “Him and his dad (Mike) worked endlessly after practice, before practice, on weekends… It didn't matter if it was November. They would just spend countless hours throwing, batting practice in our cage, live on the field on weekends, it didn't matter.

“Everything he has gotten has been because of the hard work that he and his dad put in. He's just one of these guys who are blessed, but also the hardest worker. He's always going to outwork you. And he has that natural baseball instinct. The Rockies are definitely getting the best athlete in the draft. He's just that guy.”

Gilbert compared Carrigg’s style of play to that of rookie phenom Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds.

“I don’t want to say that he’s De La Cruz or anything like, but the way he steals bases and the aggressiveness of his style of play, that’s the kind of athleticism he has,” he said.

Carrigg acknowledged that work ethic, promising the Rockies organization that they will not regret selecting him.

“They’re going to get the hardest working player every single day, the most competitive player,” he said. “They’re getting the best player in the draft.”

Colorado has until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 15 to sign Carrigg and the rest of their 2023 draft picks.