On a typical Friday night, preparing for a final exam would be less than ideal for the average 22-year-old college student.
On this particular Friday night, preparing for his University of Washington accounting final — yes, to be taken Saturday — was going to be particularly difficult for Jeff Brigham.
“I have no idea how I’m going to study,” Brigham said shortly after being selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the MLB draft Friday.
Brigham, a junior right-hander, watched the draft from his family’s Federal Way home. His mother, Gloria, cried when the Dodgers took her son with the 129th pick Friday. MLB has an assigned value of $396,300 for that pick.
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“It is absolutely a dream come true,” said Brigham, a Thomas Jefferson High School (Auburn) graduate. “Stepping back a year ago — or even just five months ago — I had no idea if I’d have this opportunity.”
Brigham, 6 feet and 200 pounds, had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on his pitching arm in July 2012. He went 21 months between starts for UW.
“I wouldn’t wish that (surgery) on my worst enemy,” he said.
Teammates credit Brigham’s work ethic for his recovery. Coach Lindsey Meggs has said Brigham is one of, if not the, fastest and most athletic UW players.
“He works harder than anyone on this team,” UW pitcher Jared Fisher said earlier this season. “He didn’t take a day off in his rehab. … He is a freak.”
Brigham returned to the mound this year and was said to have reached 98 mph on the radar gun. He sat mostly at 92 to 94 mph with his fastball while posting a 7-4 record and a 2.90 ERA in 16 starts. He was named honorable-mention All-Pac-12, his breakthrough season mirroring that of the team: The Huskies made the NCAA postseason for the first time since 2004.
The Huskies’ season ended Monday in a regional tournament at Mississippi.
“It was an unbelievable year,” Brigham said. “I love each and every one of those guys. … We were knocking on the door to get to that next step. We’re proud of the fact that we went to the regionals, but want to go to the College World Series. That’s the expectation for this program now.”
For now, Brigham will get back to studying for the final classes he needs to complete in the next week to earn his degree in accounting and finance. He was a first-team all-academic selection in the Pac-12 this year.
|Locals in the MLB amateur draft|
|Rd (overall)||Player||MLB team|
|1 (10)||OF Michael Conforto, Oregon St. (Redmond HS)||N.Y. Mets|
|3 (87)||OF Dylan Davis, Oregon State (Redmond HS)||San Francisco|
|4 (129)||RHP Jeff Brigham, UW (Thomas Jefferson HS)||L.A. Dodgers|
|8 (229)||LHP Tommy Thorpe, Oregon (Evergreen/Vancouver)||Chicago Cubs|
|8 (252)||1B Branden Kelliher, Lake Stevens HS||Oakland|
|10 (300)||RHP Scott Schultz, Oregon State (Gig Harbor HS)||Arizona|