NKU Coach Talks About Latest Norse Drafted by Major League Team
Sun, 06/21/2015 - 08:13 RCN Newsdesk
Northern Kentucky University baseball standout Cole Bauml was selected in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers.
Bauml has had a terrific two-year run on the field and in the classroom since joining the Norse after transferring from junior college. He received All-Atlantic Sun Conference and Atlantic Sun All-Academic honors.
"He hits for average and can hit for power," NKU baseball coach Todd Asalon said about Bauml.
In his senior season, Bauml led the Norse with a .350 batting average, hit eight home runs and drove in 22 runs. He also led the team in hits with 57, scored 34 runs, and stole 14 bases. Perhaps his most impressive statistic was his 25 doubles that would have led the nation if NKU players were able to be included in the national statistics as the Norse continue their reclassification status to Division I. Bauml was able to put together this kind of senior season despite missing time with a broken bone in his hand.
"It was tough when he broke his hand because his numbers were really going through the roof, but he got slowed down the last three weeks of the season. It never did heal, but he felt like he needed to get back out there and play and of course we want him out there, so his numbers would have been even better if he would have had a healthy season," Asalon said. "He got hit by a pitch against Kennesaw State on a Saturday and played Sunday against Morehead and then got a cast put on it on Monday."
Not only did Bauml have a good year at the plate, but his athletic skills allowed him to demonstrate himself as a five-tool player that can hit for average and power, field well, has a strong arm and can steal bases.
"He's also a really good defender. People don't realize how good he is chasing down fly balls, has a good arm and is just a smart baseball player. He's very athletic, can really run," Asalon said.
Because of how well-rounded of a player Bauml is, his coach doesn't think that Bauml will face a terribly difficult adjustment period in the minor leagues.
"I'm not sure how much he's going to struggle if at all because, being a Canadian kid, the only time he ever swung an aluminum bat was when he got here," Asalon said. "Once he gets to the minor leagues, I don't think it's going to be a big issue for him. He should be pretty well healed up by now, he's had a few weeks off. I'm not sure he's going to struggle, he's a really good hitter."
During his time with at NKU, Bauml has filled into his 6'3'' frame which is a part of why Major League teams like the Tigers had an eye on the centerfielder. He has developed not only physically but as a more seasoned hitter as well.
"What changed the most was his strength and him getting into the weight room I think really, really helped him. He got bigger and stronger. He matured as a hitter with plate discipline, learned how to hit. Playing in the league we were in was a pretty good test for him because he faced a lot of good pitching," the NKU coach said.
The expectation is that in the minor leagues and in the course of trying to make the majors, Bauml will be asked to focus more on his power hitting which means he will have to continue to work out to get even bigger and stronger. A position shift also may be in the cards for Bauml once he has fully adopted the power-hitting persona.
"I know that they are going to want him to hit for power in pro ball. He's so big with a big frame. Because he's got a pretty good blend of power and average, I'm sure the Tigers are going to watch him and want to use him, but I imagine they will move him to one of the corner outfield spots and get a little more power out of him," Asalon said.
Bauml is the 12th NKU baseball player to be drafted under Coach Asalon and the second in the Norse's Division I era. Last season, catcher Jordan Procyshen was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 14th round.
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor
Photo via NKU