The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Four Cougs earn pro baseball opportunity

Advincula, Brown, Magee, Hawkins drafted / signed by MLB organizations
Sam Brown leads Cougs out ahead of first pitch against Stanford, May 19.

Four difference makers for Cougar baseball have the chance to play at the highest level after joining four different Major League Baseball organizations.

All-Pac-12 centerfielder Jonah Advincula was drafted by the Cleveland Guardians (eighth round), All-Pac-12 first baseman Sam Brown was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels (12th round) and third baseman Cam Magee was drafted by the Atlanta Braves (18th round).

Right-handed pitcher Dakota Hawkins from Centralia was not drafted in the 20-round MLB Draft but signed with the New York Mets organization, Wednesday, shortly after the draft.

The draft was held at Lumen Field in Seattle as part of the 2023 MLB All-Star Week. The week was full of Cougar baseball influence as pro Coug Kyle Manzardo represented the Tampa Bay Rays in the Futures Game, July 8 at T-Mobile Park and Cougar and Mariners legend John Olerud was on site, speaking at events throughout the week.

Advincula made his name known when he led the country in RBIs after the first weekend of college baseball action in February. In July, he heard his name called during the eighth round of the 2023 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Guardians.

Advincula shared the Cougar’s hitting crown with Brown and senior Jacob McKeon. He also led the Cougars in doubles (20 sixth in Pac-12 Conference), triples (four), runs (53) and stolen bases (24 fourth in Pac-12).

In his 1.020 OPS season, Advincula was in the top three in most offensive categories, including AVG. (.350 2nd, 9th in Pac-12), OBP (.455 2nd), SLG (.565 3rd), OPS (1.020 3rd) and walks (28, T-2nd). His 33 RBI and five home runs were each the fifth-best on the team.

Advincula also made plenty of highlight-reel-worthy catches in centerfield, flashing the leather and his athleticism much to the delight of the Cougar faithful.

The Guardians’ eighth-round pick has not yet agreed to terms. The 248th overall selection’s slot value is $191,000, but Advincula could agree to more or less than that amount.

It is possible for Advincula to return to WSU, as unlike the Cougars’ other draft selections, he has not posted on social media about his MLB opportunity. Because he is the highest-drafted Coug after just one Division-I season, there is plenty of upside to both continuing college or beginning his pro ball career.

Brown led the Cougs in hits (70), RBI (58 10th Pac-12), AVG (.374 fifth Pac-12) OBP (.481 sixth Pac-12) SLG (.674 seventh Pac-12) and OPS (1.155).

Brown was second in doubles (19 sixth Pac-12), tied for second in triples (two) and second in home runs (11).

Brown transferred to WSU after leading University of Portland. As of Wednesday, he has not signed a contract with the Angels, but he shared an encouraging message for Angels fans on Instagram shortly after the draft.

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A post shared by Sam Brown (@sambrown2_)


Magee was the final Coug selected in the 2023 MLB Draft. The Arizona State transfer spent his final collegiate season on the Palouse, putting together a respectable .782 OPS season. This caught the attention of the Atlanta Braves, who selected Magee with the 549th overall pick (18th round).


Magee slashed .297 / .387 / .395 with 55 hits, 31 runs, nine doubles, three home runs, 36 RBI and three stolen bases.

Magee, known for his pre-plate appearance dance known as the “Magee shuffle” was quick to embrace his pro opportunity on Twitter.

MLB cut the draft from 40 rounds to 20 in 2021, but certain pro ball hopefuls like Hawkins still found an opportunity.

Hawkins, who WSU honored on Senior Day, racked up 92 strikeouts (WSU lead, fourth Pac-12).

His Friday night Apple Cup performance May 5 saw him allow one earned run and strikeout 12, the second-most in a single game in program history. This historic accomplishment was something Hawkins strove for entering the year.

“I was talking to Caden [Kaelber] beginning of the year, just going over some records just looking at the scoreboard, saw 12, 13 [strikeout record] ok, that’s doable and then at the beginning of the year I hit 10, I go OK,  just keep working and then I got to 12, I go alright, ya’ know, just one away, come back again next week,” Hawkins said after his 12-strikeout Apple Cup performance.

Now, Hawkins will have the opportunity to chase pro baseball records.

With pro Coug relievers Ian Hamilton and Ryan Walker pitching at a high level for the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants respectively and Manzardo knocking on the door in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, Cougar fans can add four more Cougs to their growing major and minor league baseball watchlists.

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About the Contributors
SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor
Sam is a senior multimedia journalism major from Lacey, Washington and the sports editor for spring 2024. He was the sports editor for the 2022-23 school year and managing editor for the summer and fall 2023. He plays the trumpet in the Cougar Marching Band, loves sports and has worked at the Evergreen since fall 2021.
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.