The Utes' Bret Helton became the first Utah tie to come off the board during the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, as he was selected in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
As a junior this season, the right-handed pitcher went 2-8 with a 5.72 ERA for the University of Utah. He started 10 games and had 48 strikeouts, third-best on the team. His best year with the Utes came in 2014, when Helton, a Colorado native, went 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 57 2/3 innings pitched and 17 appearances.
He was the fifth pitcher taken by Pittsburgh in the draft and the 277th overall draft pick. Helton (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) was rated the No. 448 overall prospect by Baseball America heading into the draft.
Helton has family ties to professional sports. His father, Barry, played four seasons in the NFL — three with the 49ers, one with the Rams — and won two Super Bowl titles in San Francisco.