clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cal Baseball in 2016 MLB Draft Recap

New, 5 comments

Seven 2016 Golden Bears, and nine ex-Golden Bears overall were drafted in the 2016 MLB Draft this past week.

Many members of the 2016 Cal Golden Bears baseball team had reasons to celebrate last week.
Many members of the 2016 Cal Golden Bears baseball team had reasons to celebrate last week.
Cal Baseball Facebook

While 7 Golden Bears selected in the MLB Draft is not quite the record high (8 were taken in 2004 and 2006), plenty of Golden Bears heard their names called, and often quite early, in the 40 rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft last week. All indications are that all of the taken Bears will sign.

Let's take a closer look at where these Bears were taken.

For more up-to-date status of whether a player has signed (the deadline is July 15th), check out this SBNation tracker.

Day 1 (rounds 1 and 2)

Both Cal ace Daulton Jefferies and the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year Brett Cumberland were drafted in Day 1 of the 2016 MLB Draft.

RHP Daulton Jefferies - Round 1A, pick 37th to the Oakland A's, Signed

Daulton Jefferies was drafted 37th overall by the Oakland A's.

Jefferies has signed slightly underslot (by $145,700) with the A's. He will start his pro career by going to the A's extended spring training in Arizona to continue to rehab his shoulder (even though everyone has agreed that it is fine).

Daulton Jefferies went to the Coliseum on Tuesday and spoke with the media. He even got to (sort of) meet his idol in Sonny Gray.

Current A's manager and Golden Bears alum Bob Melvin has the following to say about Jefferies.

(link to the previously embedded video is in the tweet below...took it off because it autoplays)

C Brett Cumberland - Round 2B, pick 76th to the Atlanta Braves, Signed

Brett Cumberland was drafted 76th (penultimate pick of Day 1) by the Atlanta Braves. Interestingly, Cumberland was the Braves' lone positional player drafted early in this draft. The Braves have been stockpiling picks and had 4 in the first day alone.

The draft eligible sophomore and the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year is expected to sign with the Braves.

Consensus is that Cumberland will not stick at catcher, although I personally think that he simply doesn't have enough catching experiences at a high level to make that determination. Nevertheless, Cumberland's bat and mature approach (he has a OBP of 0.480 this past season, that is Barry Bonds-like) means that even if he is switched to LF or 1B, his bat should allow him to make the big league.

Cumberland signed for a fair bit of money overslot.

Former Cal Bears 3B Lucas Erceg - Round 2, pick 46 to the Milwaukee Brewers

To distinguish our coverage a little bit from the standard CalBears.com articles, we will also note a couple of ex-Golden Bears. Earlier on the day, former Cal Bears Lucas Erceg was selected 46th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Erceg, arguably the Bears' best player from the 2015 season, flunked out of Cal and had to enroll in Menlo College. Although scouts don't know what to make of his NAIA stats (very good, of course), they obviously still think quite highly of Erceg. Erceg becomes the highest player drafted out of Menlo College.

At Cal, Erceg both hit and pitched for the Golden Bears. He will be a position player in professional ball.

The Cal to Menlo College to professional baseball connection is not quite done. Read more below.

Day 2 (rounds 3-10):

RHP Alex Schick - Round 6, pick 183 to the Minnesota Twins, Signed

Alex Schick becomes the 4th Golden Bears to be drafted by the Twins in the last 3 seasons. Chris Paul was also selected by the Twins in the 6th round last year. In 2014, pitchers Trevor Hildenberger and Michael Theofanopoulos were also taken by Minnesota.

Injured for much of the 2016 seasons, junior Alex Schick came back for the final month of the season. Schick has good size to be one of those "projectable" prospect.

Schick has signed, overslot by $132,200, for $400,000 with the Twins. He will be starting his pro career down in Florida.

CF Aaron Knapp  - Round 8th, pick 233 to the Miami Marlins, Signed

Also selected on Friday is CF Aaron Knapp in the 8th round by the Miami Marlins. Knapp is a second generation Golden Bears. His older brother, Andrew, earned All American honor at Cal as well before being drafted in the 2nd round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Andrew Knapp is now a prospect at the Phillies AAA team in Lehigh Valley, where he gets to wear a bacon hat on Saturday and a cheesesteak jersey last week.

Despite great speed and a fine defensive prowess in CF, 2016 was a bit of a down year for Aaron Knapp. I suspect that he has the ability to raise his stock with a good year. However, I believe that he is probably going to sign with the Marlins.

All 4 Golden Bears (not counting Lucas Erceg) on the Baseball America's Top 500 list have been selected...and we're merely at pick 233.

C Mitchell Kranson - Round 9, pick 273 to the Minnesota Twins, senior who will sign

It looks like the Minnesota Twins will select a twin pair of Golden Bears on the 2nd day of the 2016 MLB Draft (yes, the stocky Kranson looks so much like the lanky Schick). Kranson is listed as a catcher (a position that he played last year but not as much (if at all) this year, due to Brett Cumberland's presence). Kranson's name actually wasn't listed in the MLB.com draft database (which has Cal Players listed as both from California or UC Berkeley...what is perhaps more amusing is that some UCLA player is listed as being from UC Los Angeles).

Clearly, the Twins have scouted the Golden Bears pretty well. Kranson is one of the Bears' top hitter in 2016 and has the ability to play all over the field from 3B to LF to 1B to C. El Gaucho joins the growing list of Golden Bears in the Minnesota Twins organization.

Former Cal Bears SS Max Dutto - Round 9, pick 266 to the Chicago White Sox

Another familiar name drafted in the 9th round, just ahead of Kranson at pick 266 to the Chicago White Sox, is SS/3B Max Dutto. Dutto played for 3 years on the Bears but got only limited playing time. He transferred to Menlo College along with Lucas Erceg for his senior year.

Clearly, Dutto got the chance to shine while at Menlo College. It probably helped Dutto that scouts paid more attention to Menlo this past season due to the presence of Lucas Erceg.

Day 3 (rounds 11-40)

RHP Ryan Mason - Round 13th, pick 393 to the Minnesota Twins, senior who will sign

Ryan Mason comes off the board fairly early on Saturday, being selected in the 13th round by those Minnesota Twins. The senior righty is near the top in all time wins in Cal Baseball history. Mason had pitched both as the starter and as the closer in his Cal tenure.

The favorite son of Auburn, California was disappointed that he wasn't picked last year - as he told Pac-12 Networks' Ashley Adamson this past season. Nevertheless, Mason came back strong and had a fine senior year. Yes, his stats got a bit worse toward the end of the year as the Bears struggled as a whole, but his bulldog mentality may allow Mason to eventually make the show.

What is also interesting is the number Golden Bears selected by the Minnesota Twins - 3 in their first 13 rounds.

2B/SS Robbie Tenerowicz - Round 27, pick 810 to the Tampa Bay Rays, expected to sign

Junior 2B/SS Robbie Tenerowicz was also drafted. I would have thought that Robbie would likely return to school (especially when you consider how the Mariners used their 24th round pick on a symbolic gesture to draft Ken Griffey Jr.'s son Trey who does not even play college baseball, but Bear Territory's Ryan Gorcey heard otherwise.

*****

According to Ryan Gorcey, Cal commit RHP Jared Horn will come to Berkeley instead of turning pro.

More gem from Gorcey's article, Horn will not turn 18 until July...meaning that he will not draft eligible until after his Junior season.

Knowing that Horn will not sign, teams basically left him on the draft board until very very late.

Jared Horn was selected late on the 3rd day by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 20th round. I doubt the Brewers can meet Jared's alleged asking price of $3 millions. Of course, since we are Cal after all, we will keep an eye on this situation until the July 15th deadline has passed.

*****

The 7 Golden Bears taken ties Cal with Arizona for 2nd in the Pac-12. USC leads the way with 12 players drafted. The number of high draft picks for the Bears in this draft make me optimistic that a good number of these players will make the Big League eventually.

Congratulations and good luck to all the Golden Bears selected in the 2016 MLB Draft. I am looking forward to see them potentially in the Big League in the future (or just in some minor league baseball games somewhere).

GO BEARS!