2022 MLB Draft Brings Five Local Players Step Closer To Big Leagues

Jul 19, 2022, 6:00 PM
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: Robert Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, announces the first pick by Jackson Holiday by the Baltimore Orioles during the 2022 MLB Draft at XBOX Plaza on July 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

SALT LAKE CITY – Five players with Utah ties were selected in the Major League Baseball draft held during All-Star festivities this week.

The 20-round MLB draft was held in Los Angeles, CA July 16-19.

An up and coming BYU baseball program saw four players drafted while a former prep player out of Desert Hill HS went in the second round. Let’s recap the fun.

Drew Thorpe – Round 2 (61st overall) NY Yankees

A 6’4 right-hander out of Cal-Poly via Desert Hills High School in St. George, UT. Thorpe spent two season’s as the Mustangs Friday night starter. In his redshirt sophomore season, Thorpe went 10-1 with a 2.32 earned run average. A strikeout pitcher with Cal-Poly, Thorpe struck out double-digit batters nine times in 2022 including 15 K’s against UC San Diego on March 25. He didn’t allow more than three earned runs in a game all season long.

Andrew Pintar – Rd 5 (138th overall) Arizona D-backs

A 6’2 middle-infielder out of Spanish Fork High School, Pintar spent three seasons with BYU. After winning Co-WCC Freshman of the Year & All-WCC First Team in 2021 as a second-year freshman (Covid), Pintar played only 17 games with the Cougars in 2022. He finished with a .208 batting average, five doubles and eight RBI. Pintar raked in 2021, hitting .333 with nine homers and 32 RBI. He has a .970 fielding percentage with 10 errors while primarily playing second base.

Cy Nielsen – Rd 8 (230th overall) Pittsburgh Pirates

High school teammate with Andrew Pintar at Spanish Fork, this is the second time Nielsen has been drafted after the Cleveland Guardians took him in the 40th round in 2019. A bullpen arm with the Cougars, Nielsen had a 3.21 earned run average as a sophomore. Rebounding from a difficult 2021 where Nielsen struggled with control while giving up 29 walks (22 more than he had in 2021) and a 7.73 earned run average. Nielsen had a 45:7 strikeout/walk ratio in 2022.

Nate Dahle -Rd 13 (441st overall) Tampa Bay Rays

Playing his prep ball at Bear River High School, Dahle is a 6’6 right-handed reliever that played one season with the Cougars. Dahle threw 42 2/3 innings in 25 appearances with 61 strikeouts against 11 walks. He had a 2.74 ERA, allowed a .247 batting average against and picked up two saves for the Cougars.

Cooper McKeehan – Rd 16 (475th overall) KC Royals

McKeehan is a 6’1 lefty reliever out of Matthews, NC. In three seasons with BYU, he threw 55.2 innings while allowing a minuscule .167 batting average against. As a third-year sophomore (Covid), he allowed only 13 base hits in 23 innings pitched while striking out 41 batters and walking 14.

What’s Next?

While in other sports it is basically a foregone conclusion for athletes to pursue the pros after being drafted, baseball is different. All five players drafted have college eligibility remaining and could choose to return to school in order to improve draft position for next year. Players and teams have until August 1 to reach a deal before being placed back in the draft pool for 2023.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

Locals in MLB

Brian Preece

Updating Salt Lake Bees 2023 Opening Day Roster

A long offseason is coming to an end as the Salt Lake Bees prepare to open for Opening Day at Smith's Ballpark this weekend.
1 day ago
Brian Preece

Instant Replay: Former Ute Hits MLB’s Longest Home Run Of Season

Former Utah first baseman C.J. Cron continued his career year with a titanic blast that landed more than 500 feet from home plate.
7 months ago
Brian Preece

Bees Bullets: Orlando Martinez Earns PCL Player Of The Week Honor

Bees outfielder Orlando Martinez was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for his performance August 9-14 against Sacramento.
8 months ago
Brian Preece

Bees Bullets: Offense Stymied As Bees Drop Series Against Sacramento

The bats never really got going for Salt Lake as the Bees dropped four of six games to the fifth place Sacramento River Cats.
8 months ago
Brian Preece

Former Ute Andre Jackson Comes Full Circle In Baseball Career

On the doorstep of the major leagues, Andre Jackson looks back on the Tommy John surgery that wiped out his 2017 season as 'a blessing in disguise'.
8 months ago
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)...
JOHN KEKIS AP Sports Writer

Big Papi Still Awestruck As Hall Of Fame Induction Looms

Six months after he got one of the most amazing phone calls in sports, David Ortiz is still awestruck at his good fortune.
8 months ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
2022 MLB Draft Brings Five Local Players Step Closer To Big Leagues