Going, going, gone: Baker selected on Day One of MLB Draft

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Three years ago, one TCU baseball player wrote a letter to all 30 major league ball clubs warning them to not draft the pitching and hitting dynamo, despite his status as the Gatorade Player of the Year.

First baseman Luken Baker wrote the letter during his senior year of high school, which read, “Dear major league baseball teams, please don’t waste a pick drafting me. I’m going to TCU.”

Draft eligible once again as a junior, the MLB has come calling, and it’s likely that Baker has played his last game as a Horned Frog.

Baker was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round compensation portion of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft Monday as the 75th player off the board. Baker is the eighth-highest draft pick under the guidance of head coach Jim Schlossnagle.

Although his season was cut short by injury for the second year in a row, he led the team with nine home runs in 2018. Baker was hitting .319 with 26 RBIs at the time of his injury. In total, Baker played in 145 games in his three seasons in Fort Worth, hit .347 with 26 doubles and 28 home runs while driving in 129 runs.

As a freshman, Baker earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year accolades in addition to garnering consensus All-American honors. He was named the 2016 MVP of the Big 12 Tournament. He is a two-time All-Big 12 performer.

TCU’s Luken Baker, right, celebrates with Elliott Barzilli after hitting a home run against Coastal Carolina during the second inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game, Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Ted Kirk)

During his first year on campus, Baker clubbed one of the most memorable home runs in program history with his go-ahead three-run blast in the top of the ninth inning against Texas Tech in the opening game of the College World Series.

In Jim Schlossnagle’s 15 seasons as head coach, TCU has seen 71 players drafted by 26 organizations. Baker is the sixth Horned Frog drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals organization where he joins one of TCU Baseball’s most notable alumni, All-Star infielder Matt Carpenter.