West BloomfieldJuly 16, 2014
Cole shocked and honored to be drafted by Braves
WEST BLOOMFIELD — Whatever he ultimately decides to do with his future, he’s going to hit a home run.
Figuratively and literally.
In one moment last month, Dazon Cole was heartbroken, less than an hour removed from a stunning loss in the Division 1 baseball regional finals.
In the next moment, shock and pride overtook him as his name was called in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft.
“It was all pretty unbelievable,” the West Bloomfield High senior said when reached by phone last week. “I guess I kind of expected to get drafted, but the way it all went down was pretty unbelievable. We had just lost, and then I found out. It was shocking to me.”
The Atlanta Braves chose Cole with the 883rd overall pick in the 29th round.
He was the first high school player from the state of Michigan chosen.
“I couldn’t believe that I’d come that far,” he said of his initial reaction upon finding out. “I mean, from being a freshman in high school to get drafted by a pro team actually happened.”
Cole played his first three years of high school ball at Pontiac High, establishing himself as one of the better players in Oakland County.
He transferred to West Bloomfield prior to his senior year, and then he took off.
“A very special player,” coach Eric Pierce said. “He did a wonderful job for us this year.”
Cole helped guide the Lakers to a 24-11 season in 2014.
The trip to the regional final — a 2-0 loss to Brighton High — marked the first time West Bloomfield had reached that stage in the playoffs since 2007.
He was instrumental in the season-long success.
On the mound, he finished with an 8-2 record, pitching 52.1 innings with a 2.40 ERA, 76 strikeouts, 39 walks and just 23 hits allowed.
At the plate, he hit .364 with three home runs and 30 stolen bases in 32 attempts.
“It was at the start of the season,” Cole said of getting caught twice. “I hadn’t figured some things out just yet.”
As for the season he had, he earned All-State honors, a spot on the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Dream Team and a spot in the 2014 coaches association All-Star game on July 10.
“I felt like I had a pretty good year,” he said. “My control wasn’t there pitching all the time, but I stayed upbeat. The guys on this team really helped me out.”
As for what’s next, Cole has plenty of options.
He said he’s still mulling an offer to sign with the Braves and join their minor league system.
He has until July 17 to decide.
Should he bypass pro ball for now, he has baseball offers to play at Central Michigan University or Wabash College in Indiana.
“I have a lot to figure out,” he said. “Whatever I do will be a good decision, though.”