Bradley Braves pitchers Brooks Gosswein and Theo Denlinger were selected on the second day of the MLB Draft on July 12, the first time more than one Brave had been drafted within the first 10 rounds in 28 years. Both will look for their paths to take them from the River City to the Windy City, as both hurlers were selected by the Chicago White Sox.
Gosswein, a junior from Barrington, Illinois, heard his name called in the fourth round as the 124thoverall pick. The southpaw started all but one of his 12 games with the Braves in 2021, racking up a 4-2 record to go with a 5.13 ERA.
Gosswein was Bradley’s active leader in strikeouts, innings pitched and wins. During his career at Bradley, Gosswein was named one of the National Players of the Week by the Collegiate Baseball publication in April of 2019. In 2021, the lefty also picked up MVC Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of March 1 and earned an MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention.
The White Sox newest fourth round pick features a fastball in the mid-to-high 90’s and an above-average slider that the Southsiders will hope to have in their bullpen down the road.
Redshirt-junior and 2021 All-MVC Honorable Mention Theo Denlinger joined his Braves teammate in hearing his name called just hours afterwards, in the seventh round (215th overall). Standing at a hulking 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Denlinger intimidated opponents as the Braves closer since 2019 after transferring from Madison College.
A native of Cuba City, Wisconsin, Denlinger picked up 13 saves during his three years at Bradley to go with a 4.30 career ERA. In 2021, the right-hander threw 17.2 innings in 17 outings, striking out 21 while earning six saves.
Denlinger was especially dominant in 2019, when he held batters to a .175 batting average and striking out more than one batter per inning en route to an All-MVC Second Team selection. In a recent outing with the Madison Mallards collegiate summer team, Denlinger’s fastball touched 100 miles per hour.
Gosswein and Denlinger are the highest-picked Braves players in the MLB Draft since Elvis Dominguez became head coach in 2008. By comparison, former Brave and current San Francisco Giants slugger Mike Tauchman was selected in the 10th round in 2013. The last Braves players to be selected in the MLB Draft were Boby Johnson (16th round) and Luke Mangieri (25thround) in 2018.
Speculation remains on how far and when each player will progress through the White Sox’s system but the duo’s likely first destination will be the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, Chicago’s Low-A affiliate.
Another local product, Normal West High School alumnus McCade Brown, became a member of the Colorado Rockies organization after being selected in the third round.
Bradley’s two-time All-MVC outfielder Dan Bolt was still waiting to be selected as of Monday evening.