Last year, Colorado. This spring, California. This summer, professional baseball?
Monday night, that officially became an option for Cole Winn.
Winn, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-handed pitcher out of Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, was selected 15th in the first round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft by the Texas Rangers.
Winn, who is committed to Mississippi State, recently won Gatorade California Baseball Player of the Year after winning Gatorade Colorado Baseball Player of the Year in 2017.
Pitching for Silver Creek (Longmont, Colo.) in 2017, Winn went 9-0 with an 0.73 earned run average. His father Randy’s business has a lot of clients in Orange County, Calif., so when Winn’s dad asked him if he would like to relocate and play his senior season in Southern California, the top prospect obliged.
This spring, Winn went 8-2 with a miniscule 0.20 ERA, striking out 120 and walking just 11 batters in 70 innings pitched. For good measure, Winn also hit .282 with four home runs and 23 RBI.
“I think I’ve had to raise my level a little bit,” Winn told USA TODAY High School Sports in April. “Obviously, I want to show what I could do out here and prove what I did in Colorado I can do anywhere. In Colorado, every once in a while, you would face a guy who would be going Division I. Out here, you face lineups of guys who are going D-I.”
The world of top-tier batters stepping into the box against Winn is just beginning. Monday provided the next big step on Winn’s circuitous baseball journey.