After being the best hitter on the team all season long in 2021, Oklahoma first baseman Tyler Hardman is the first Sooner off the board in the MLB Draft.
Hardman was selected in the fifth round, No. 153 overall, by the New York Yankees on Monday.
Hardman was simply superb the entire year last season batting an obscene .397 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs while playing a very solid defensive first base. Perhaps his most memorable stretch was from March 9-15 when he reached base in an absolutely absurd 16 (!) consecutive plate appearances.
Known for his incredible work ethic, Hardman saw his collegiate career skyrocket as he steadily improved as he went along throughout his time in Norman. Somewhat quietly, he put together a fantastic run of seasons with the Sooners that was good enough to land him in the top-20 in program history both in all-time home runs as well as doubles.
His stellar play was also good enough for him to be selected first team All-Big 12 and second team All-America in 2021.
Now, he gets the chance to head to one of the most historic franchises in professional sports with the Yankees.
Hardman's former teammate will now be on the other side of the biggest rivalry in baseball as starting pitcher Wyatt Olds was selected No. 196 overall by the Boston Red Sox.
After being simply electric out of the bullpen in 2020, Olds had some struggles in 2021 but still flashed signs of being the elite level of arm that many expected him to have the capability of being.
At the end of the day, professional scouts know you can't teach a guy's ability to consistently hit high 90's with their fastball and snap off breaking pitches. Olds has the natural ability to be a legit pitcher at the next level, and that is what Boston sees as well.
UPDATE (No. 2):
Oklahoma closer Jason Ruffcorn marks the third Sooner off the board as he goes No. 235 overall to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ruffcorn was absolutely elite throughout the majority of the season as one of the best relief pitchers in the entire country. He ran into some struggles upon being moved into the starting rotation late in the year, but still had a solid campaign by the time it was all said and done.
Ruffcorn has the ability to hit 90's on his fastball with some supreme off-speed pitches that makes him a really tough matchup for opposing hitters. Look no further than his 74 strikeouts in just 54 innings as evidence of that.