Williamson and Cooney Both Drafted in 3rd Round
June 5, 2012
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Media Relations (@SIDeacons)
Williamson was selected with the 115th overall pick by the San Francisco Giants, while Cooney was taken just two picks later with the 117th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Williamson and Cooney are the first set of Demon Deacon teammates to be selected in the top three rounds since Kyle Sleeth and Jamie D'Antona achieved the feat in the 2003 draft. Sleeth was selected in the first round with the third overall pick, and D'Antona was selected in the second round with the 66th overall pick.
"I couldn't be happier for Tim and Mac. Both young men have worked extremely hard and have dedicated themselves to being great baseball players, great teammates, great people and exemplary student-athletes," said Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter. "Both of them being taken in the third round tells me that the professional scouts agree with our feelings. These young men will play in the big leagues."
The pair of Deacons were the seventh and eighth players selected in the draft from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the only two players from the conference selected in the third round. Williamson was the second outfielder from the conference drafted, behind only Florida State's James Ramsey (Round 1; 23 overall), and Cooney was the fourth pitcher and first lefty selected from the conference. Duke's Marcus Stroman (Round 1; 22 overall), Georgia Tech's Luke Bard (Comp A; 42 overall) and Virginia's Branden Kline (Round 2, 65 overall) were all selected before Cooney.
After coming to Wake Forest as the number one pitching prospect in North Carolina, Williamson shifted gears and became the best power hitter in the ACC. The Wake Forest, N.C., native led the ACC with 17 homers upon the end of the Deacs' 2012 season and ended his career with 36 homers in 159 games.
Williamson also recorded career-highs of 52 RBIs, 42 runs scored, a .287 average and a .596 slugging percentage this season. Spending time at all three outfield positions during his three years at Wake Forest, Williamson collected 12 career outfield assists and committed just one error this season.
"It was kind of a shock. I didn't know what to expect, and I didn't get any calls today beforehand," said Williamson. "I was just watching on the MLB website, and they called my name."
Cooney began to turn heads his sophomore year in 2011 when he recorded a 7-3 record and a 3.01 ERA en route to being named Second Team All-ACC. He also turned in a career-best 91 strikeouts as a sophomore, ranking him in a tie for 10th all-time for a single season.
Coming to Wake Forest from Collegeville, Pa., Cooney is ranked eighth all-time in school history in innings pitched (278.0) and is tied for eighth with 235 strikeouts. He recorded two complete games in 42 starts and posted a 4.01 ERA. Opponents hit just .264 in three seasons.
"It was more shock than anything because I hadn't heard anything from them," said Cooney. "My mom saw it first, and she started jumping up and down. It was overwhelming and just a really cool experience."
The 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft will continue through Round 15 today and will continue tomorrow with Rounds 16-40, beginning at 12 p.m.