Junior pitcher Alec Hansen was the first OU baseball player selected in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft as a second-round pick of the Chicago White Sox. Junior shortstop Sheldon Neuse, drafted as a third baseman, was taken nine picks later by the Washington Nationals.
Hansen and Neuse are the highest drafted Sooner duo since Jon Gray (1st round, 3rd pick) and Dillon Overton (2nd round, 63rd pick) in 2013. The two mark the first two players from the Big 12 drafted in 2016.
The White Sox selected Hansen with the 49th overall pick. A 25th round pick of the Colorado Rockies out of high school in 2013, Hansen went 3-5 on the hill with a 5.40 earned run average and a team-leading 75 strikeouts; averaging 13.06 per nine innings. He was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week following a win over Kansas State (5/8) in which he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. In 2014, Hansen went 5-6 with a 3.95 ERA and 94 strikeouts as an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Neuse became the highest drafted position player from Oklahoma since Jackson Williams (1st round, 43rd pick) in 2007. He is a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, John Olerud Award and Dick Howser Trophy. Neuse became just the second player in league history to be named a three-time unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection this season. He was previously the 2014 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and was recently honored as a Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball News Second Team All-American.
At the plate, Neuse led the Sooners in 10 offensive categories, including a slash line that ranks each statistic in the top five among Big 12 players with a .396 batting average, .465 on-base percentage and league-leading .646 slugging percentage. He totaled 15 doubles, 10 home runs and five triples as his 80 career extra-base hits rank 10th all-time at OU. Neuse drove in 48 runs and scored 42. He became the 40th player in program history with 100 runs scored and knocked in. His 209 career hits rank 18th at Oklahoma. On the mound, Neuse contributed a 4-1 record and five saves with a 1.40 ERA in 14 relief outings. Neuse was originally a 38th round selection of the Texas Rangers out of high school in 2013.
Since the first MLB Draft in 1965, 256 Sooners have been selected. A year ago, Oklahoma matched its program-record as 11 players were drafted; the highest in the country from a single school in 2015.