Levi Prater’s fist pumps are headed to St. Louis.
Cade Horton figures to be wearing an Oklahoma uniform next year — two to be exact.
And the Sooners might have produced their best draft class in program history.
The Major League Baseball Draft’s strange year, with only five rounds, still managed to flush out OU’s entire weekend pitching rotation, a pair of touted high school signees, and four picks within the first four rounds — a program first.
Prater, a left-handed starting pitcher known for his emotional mound celebrations, was picked 93rd overall by the Cardinals in the third round. Dane Acker went late in the fourth round to the A’s, likely leaving OU’s weekend rotation cleaned out, as Friday starter Cade Cavalli went to the Nationals in the first round.
Junior catcher Brady Lindsly, who was selected by the Nationals in the fourth round with the 123rd overall pick, will be reunited with Cavalli and former teammate Jake Irvin, who went to Washington last year.
It underscored just how much strength the Sooners were equipped with — namely on their pitching staff — before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
OU coach Skip Johnson probably won’t have the luxury of adding Dax Fulton to his rebuilding effort next year. The 6-foot-6 left-handed OU signee from Mustang High School went to the Marlins at No. 40 overall, a pick that comes with a deferred $1.8 million slot bonus.
It was the second consecutive day a touted Sooners signee became a high selection. Wednesday, it was Chicago shortstop Ed Howard getting a unique chance to stay home as the Cubs grabbed him at 16th overall.
Horton, the football and baseball star at Norman High was not selected in the shortened draft, meaning hometown fans will likely see him play as a Sooner. The shortstop is signed to play baseball and football at OU. Westmoore outfielder Jace Bohrofen also went undrafted and has signed with the Sooners.
Despite MLB cutting 40 rounds to five, it was arguably OU’s best draft showing ever. It wasn’t the deepest in number — three different Sooner teams had nine players selected total — but with four picks in rounds 1-4 this year’s group surpassed the 2018 team, which saw Kyler Murray, Steele Walker and Jake Irvin all go within the first four rounds.
OU owns the unenviable title of having perhaps the nation’s best pitching staff during a year without a postseason.
Acker, the Sunday starter, threw a no-hitter against LSU before the year ended.
Prater, who is from Byng, threw 33 strikeouts and maintained a 3.42 earned-run average in 23 2/3 innings.