HAMMOND, La. – With the Major League Baseball Draft signing deadline having come and gone, two former Southeastern Louisiana baseball players have embarked on new careers.
Pitcher Andro Cutura (Minnesota Twins) and outfielder Andrew Godbold (Los Angeles Dodgers), both juniors, have signed contracts to continue their baseball endeavors at the professional level.
“Godbold and Cutura join a long list of guys that have come in here undrafted and developed into big time players,” head coach Matt Riser said. “It's a testimony to hard work paying off. Those guys came in unselfish, did a great job buying into the program and trusting us. Both had points in their careers here where they hit some adversity, but they continued to trust the process and the plan would carry them on to a career in professional baseball.”
Godbold made his professional debut July 26 for the Ogden Raptors (Utah) of the rookie level Pioneer League. Through two games, he is 1-for-6 (.166) with a pair of RBIs. Cutura is working out in Florida and is not slated to pitch again until next spring.
This past season, Cutura helped lead the Lions to their first NCAA Regional appearance in 20 seasons. He was the Southland Conference leader in a couple of statistical categories, compiling a 10-2 record and a 1.95 ERA. Cutura fanned 99 batters in 106 innings pitched, while limiting hitters to a .219 batting average, and issuing 21 walks. He tossed three complete games in his 16 starts. Cutura led the Southland in wins and strikeouts.
The junior from Pearl River, Louisiana, was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the seventh round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. making him the 200th overall pick. Cutura is Southeastern's highest draft choice since former Lion Wade Miley was taken as a comp pick in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Godbold, the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, led the Lions with nine home runs and was second with a .349 batting average, which were second-and sixth-best in the Southland, respectively. The third-team all-conference selection led the league with 58 RBI, ranked third with 121 total bases and a .515 slugging percentage, fifth with a .448 on-base percentage and sixth with his 82 hits.
The junior from Oak Park, Illinois, was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 23rd round, 699th overall, during the draft.
Cutura and Godbold are the first Lion players to sign professional contracts since Brock Hebert (Seattle Mariners, 14th round) and Stefan Lopez (New York Yankees, 16th round) were selected in the 2012 draft.