Above: Matthew Gorst (left) and Brandon Gold (right)
Brandon Gold and Matthew Gorst were pitching teammates for four years at Johns Creek High School, then both spent the past three years playing for Georgia Tech. Now they have the option to leave college after being drafted in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday, June 11.
Both of the Jewish pitchers were named second-team All-ACC during their just-completed junior season at Tech.
Gold, 21, was the team’s top starting pitcher this season, finishing with a 9-3 record and 2.48 ERA. His career college pitching record is 16-6 with a 2.83 ERA in two seasons. He didn’t pitch for the Yellow Jackets in his freshman year, when he started 50 games at third base.
Baseball America had the right-hander rated as the 341st best player in the draft and 16th best in Georgia. The scouting report on him at MLB.com raised a concern that he struck out only 81 batters in 105 1/3 innings, indicating “the lack of late life on his fastball and just an OK breaking ball.”
He was the 350th player picked when the Colorado Rockies drafted him fourth in the 12th round. One pick before, the Atlanta Braves also drafted a right-handed pitcher named Brandon who just completed his junior year in college: Brandon White from Lander University.
Gorst, 21, didn’t have to wait long before he got the call: The Boston Red Sox drafted him with the 12th pick of the 12th round, 358th overall.
The right-hander was the 462nd-rated player by Baseball America and No. 23 in Georgia after a remarkable season as Tech’s closer. He allowed only three earned runs while striking out 55 in 28 appearances and 49 innings out of the bullpen, good for a school-record ERA of 0.55. He finished with a 2-1 record and 12 saves.
For his Tech career, he has a 6-3 record with 13 saves. Although he was the ace starting pitcher at Johns Creek, he has exclusively been a relief pitcher with the Yellow Jackets.
Now Gold and Gorst will have to decide whether to start their pro careers or return for their senior year. Because they have a choice, they have some negotiating leverage and could get signing bonuses worth around $100,000.
Returning to college gives a player a chance to impress the scouts and improve his draft stock for next year. But he also could get injured or have a poor season, and he would no longer have any leverage after his senior season.