Hello everyone! I'm here to get you all caught up on what's been going on with Cal Baseball since their season came to an untimely end last month. There's been a lot of cool stuff, and not so fortunate stuff, that's happened since the final game of the season at Texas A&M. Most of this stuff is quite old news, but for the casual fans out there hopefully this is all very good information for you.
First, a big blow to the coaching staff.
Neu has accepted a head coaching position at the University of Pacific. He was the pitching coach for the last four seasons and given how amazing our pitching staff has been this season this will be a big blow. I have no guesses as to who the replacement will be but hopefully the new guy will be able to keep the ship moving. Daulton Jefferies, Jeff Bain, and Ryan Mason will likely be the starters next season and there's no reason to believe their abilities will fall just because of a new coach, but for new players and recruits moving forward we will need a solid hire. Stay tuned for updates on this development.
MLB Draft Updates
You've probably heard that graduated senior Chris Paul was selected in the sixth round of the MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. What you probably aren't aware of is what he has done since. He signed with a $50K signing bonus on July 17 and has a draft value of $290,300. He has already started playing in Elizabeth Twins in Tennessee. In just six games Paul has a .261 AVG with 3 RBIs. It should be noted that's just a rookie league team, and it will be some time before we see him in Single-A ball. Unfortunately, none of the Minnesota Twins' minor league affiliates play anywhere near California, so if you're a local Cal Baseball fan you'll have to wait and see if he makes a major league roster to see him play live again.
While no current Cal players left in the draft, once incoming freshman Mike Soroka was drafted in the first round by the Atlanta Braves.He then opted to sign with them rather than join the Bears. This is a blow to Cal's future, since he was likely going to make an impact right away for the team, but good for him for choosing the money and best of luck in his professional career.
Ryan Mason, who was eligible to be selected in the draft, went unselected and has confirmed he will return for his senior year at Cal.
Summer Ball Updates
Sixteen Cal players, including incoming freshmen, are honing their skills with summer ball squads and two are even playing for Team USA.
You can get a detailed look of all sixteen here but here's some highlights.
Cal's ace pitcher Daulton Jefferies represented our country on Team USA's collegiate squad as they competed in summer camp with other countries like Cuba, Canada and China. He went 1-1 in four appearances, 14 innings overall, and had 12 strikeouts.
Ripken Reyes, an incoming freshmen infielder, represented Team USA's under 18 squad, and notably survived the first round of cuts in July 4. In August, a full 20 man roster will be decided for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Under 18 World Cup, and hopefully he will make the squad!
Cal players are playing all around the country this summer, but if you want to see some play locally there's the California Collegiate League. Lucas Erceg plays for the Neptune Beach Pearl, who plays locally in Alameda and Oakland, but as of this writing they have no home games remaining. They have clinched a playoff berth and will be in action next weekend, so head to Cal Summer Ball for more information. In 23 games, Erceg has hit three home runs and 16 RBIs with a .344 average. While it may be too late to see him this year, the Neptune Beach Pearl regularly have Cal players on the team, so if you're just finding out about this now... remember this information for next season!
The offseason has been interesting for Cal so far, but this is still a team that should continue where they left off last season and hopefully I won't look silly saving up money for an Omaha trip next summer!