After unlikely route to draft, Brandon Gold savors opportunity

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Georgia Tech’s Brandon Gold was 9-3 in 16 starts this season with a 2.48 ERA. (GT Athletics/Danny Karnik)

Brandon Gold was in Boise, Idaho, Tuesday afternoon, awaiting his first team meeting with the Boise Hawks, the Colorado Rockies’ short-season A-ball team.

Less than a week ago, he was a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, having just returned from the Jackets’ trip to the Gainesville, Fla., NCAA regional.

“It happened really fast,” Gold said. “It was crazy how everything happened.”

Gold was drafted Saturday in the 12th round by the Rockies. Monday, he flew to Denver. Tuesday morning, he left Denver for Boise. His contract was still being negotiated, he said.

“I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet that my college career has come to an end,” he said. “But it’s very exciting. This is what every kid works for. I’m extremely blessed and thankful for the opportunity. That’s all I can ask for.”

Gold said he was told that, as he hasn’t thrown since the regional, he’ll be started slowly and gradually increase his work load. He likely won’t start, but could serve as a long reliever.

It is not the opportunity he thought he’d get when he arrived at Tech. Gold saw himself as a position player when he arrived at Tech. He didn’t pitch an inning as a freshman started 50 games at third base, hitting .246 in 54 games.

“I didn’t think I was going to pitch at all,” he said.

He had pitched a little bit in the fall of his freshman year and again as a sophomore. Gold made it sound like it was almost on a lark. But then he began his sophomore season in the bullpen before injuries pushed him into the rotation. He developed into the staff ace, a role he filled again this season, finishing 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA.

“I think a big thing (in his draft stock) is, since I haven’t pitched my entire life, my arm’s more fresh than other pitchers,” Gold said.

He estimated that he had thrown about 20 innings at Johns Creek High.

“I’m very thankful that Coach Hall gave me the opportunity, and I made the most of it, and look at where I am now,” he said.

Boise, Idaho, at the start of a professional career.

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