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Rays like pitchability of ninth-round pick Pruitt

Rays like pitchability of ninth-round pick Pruitt

Rays like pitchability of ninth-round pick Pruitt

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.

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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.

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