With their ninth-round pick (No. 278 overall) in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Rays selected University of Houston right-hander Austin Pruitt.
A diminuitive pitcher at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, Pruitt used his excellent pitchability en route to a 10-win season for the Cougars this spring. He went 10-5 with a 2.85 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 113 2/3 innings, becoming the first Houston pitcher with 10 or more wins since Brad Lincoln had 12 in 2006.
Pruitt led Conference USA with five complete games and proved to be durable on the mound, lasting at least six innings in each of his 15 starts.
"Above-average curveball," Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison said. "The curveball's an out pitch."
Before putting together one of the best seasons in recent memory by a Houston pitcher, Pruitt attended Navarro Junior College, where he led the nation with a 0.81 ERA and was a part of the 2011 National JUCO World Series Championship Team.
The 23-year-old Texas native was a Gregg Olson Award Semifinalist for "Breakout Player of the Year" during his senior season with the Cougars.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.