Day 3 (rounds 11-40)
Ryan Mason comes off the board fairly early on Saturday, being selected in the 13th round by those Minnesota Twins again. Mason is the 3rd Cal player drafted by the Twins this year. 4th in the past two years (Chris Paul was drafted in the 6th round last year), and 6th in the past 3 seasons.
I suspect that Mason may be the last of the Bears to be drafted. Nick Halamandaris is the last Cal guy that has a shot of being drafted.
Somehow I failed to include the possibility of junior 2B/SS Robbie Tenerowicz being drafted.
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).
Day 2 (rounds 3-10):
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.
Schick was injured for much of the 2016 seasons, but has good size to be one of those "projectable" prospect.
Also selected on Friday is CF Aaron Knapp in the 8th round by the Miami 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.
It looks like the Minnesota Twins will select a pair of Golden Bears on the 2nd day of the 2016 MLB Draft. 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 even listed in the MLB.com draft database.
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.
More Cal Baseball Draft news, thanks to the wonderful coverage by Ryan Gorcey
The top name left on the draft board going into Day 2 is Jared Horn, RHP, Vintage (California) HS. Why is this flamethrower (can hit 97 mph on the radar gun) not being selected, Gorcey has exclusively informed us that Horn is firm on his commitment to Cal. So firm in fact, that no team has taken him with the hope to entice him to turn 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.
Maybe the Golden Bears won't have that much issue replacing Jefferies and Ryan Mason in the rotation next year. Although we all know how pitchers are super prone to long term injury and miss time.
On another news, not whole unexpected, graduated senior Devin Pearson is probably going to retire from baseball. Like I had mentioned below, Pearson's (shoulder) injury had prevented him from playing the field. While Pearson is a solid hitter, he has no pro ball outlook with the ability to play the field.
Day 1 Recap:
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.
Daulton Jefferies was drafted 37th overall by the Oakland A's.
Brett Cumberland was drafted 76th (penultimate pick of Day 1) by the Atlanta Braves.
Earlier on the day, former Cal Bears Lucas Erceg was selected 46th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Both Jefferies and Cumberland have some leverage in their contract negotiations since coming back to Cal is still a possibility for both of them. I do believe that they will both sign and move on to professional baseball, however. This is particularly true after reading the following from the MLB.com article previewing Day 2:
With the way the Draft bonus-pool system works now, if Horn or Mendoza are taken in Rounds 3-10, there's a good chance they will sign. If a player taken at any point in the top 10 rounds doesn't sign, the team loses the value assigned to the pick from their total bonus pool, which could hamper the ability to sign other picks.
Best of luck to these Golden Bears. I will update this post more as the draft continues on Friday and Saturday.
Not going to sugarcoat it, the 2016 Cal Baseball season was overall a disappointment. A team that was ranked for a third of the season not making the postseason was a tough pill to swallow. What's worse, people throughout college baseball has thought that the the Golden Bears had enough talent to make a return and possibly a deep run in the College World Series. It is now time to find out how many MLB people also feel that way about the talent on the Cal roster.
The 2016 MLB Draft starts today. A recent format change has meant that the first two rounds now have its own night and will be televised (round 3 through 40 are Friday and Saturday and will merely be streamed online).
What: Rounds 1 and 2
When: Thursday, 4 p.m. PT
Channel: MLB Network (and MLB.com)
Rounds 3-10 is on Friday with coverage starting at 9:30 AM PT on MLB.com (first pick of the day is not due until 10 AM PT)
Rounds 11-40 is on Saturday, beginning at 9 AM PT on MLB.com
[ORIGINAL VERSION OF THIS POST HAD THE WRONG TIME FOR ROUND 3-40]
The Golden Bears may have guys drafted as early as today. Since I am not that versed on the Cal Baseball recruiting, this post will just focus on the Bears who have played on the team last year (plus one more). Chances are also good that some of the Cal commits may be selected highly and go straight to pro. Last year, Cal commit (from Canada) Mike Soroka was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the late first round (28th overall pick), he is now a rising prospect in single A ball.
MLB draft is different from the NFL or NBA drafts. All the players out of high school, of certain age, or have spend 3 years out of high school in college are eligible to be drafted. Players can consult with agents and often those who have the option to return to school use that as leverage to get a bigger signing bonus. In rare occurrences, even top draft picks may forgo the pro and return to school for another year. Some guys sign right away and start playing short season minor league ball. Others drag out the negotiations until well into the fall.
There is also the whole business about how much signing bonuses a team can give out in a draft, based on draft positions. This lead to the whole business of teams drafting players that they can sign to underslot amount and use the extra money to overpay someone else. You can read more about the "Rule IV" Draft in this primer from MLB Trade Rumors.
Daulton Jefferies (junior RHP)
2016 stats: 7-0, 1.08 ERA, 53 K in 50 innings, just 8 walks, 0.185 batting average against
The undisputed ace (aka Friday starter) for the Golden Bears in 2016 (and pretty much since he started his Cal career), junior Daulton Jefferies started out the year great and was getting some top 10 buzz. Of course, Jefferies suffered an injury (originally reported as a calf problem but later turns into a shoulder thing as well) and missed quite a bit of time (coinciding with the Bears' slide as a team) before returning to action for the final two weekends.
From when he was just out for two weeks, ESPN's Keith Law had the following comparison for Jefferies and ranked him 32nd overall:
Jeffries was getting Mike Leake comparisons -- slight 6-foot right-hander with great control and some sink on the fastball -- earlier this spring with talk of top-10 potential.
In Law's latest update (ESPN Insiders only), Daulton Jefferies is now ranked 74th.
MLB Pipeline has Jefferies at 58th.
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Curve: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50
Despite his stature -- Jefferies is just six-feet tall -- he was moving up boards at the start of the spring as the most consistent performer among college pitchers in this Draft class. But after six dominant starts, Jefferies missed his first start in April with what was originally thought to be a calf strain. When news circulated that it was actually a shoulder issue, it threw his Draft status way up in the air.
When healthy, Jefferies uses a compact delivery that helps him bring fastballs up to 95 mph to the plate. He can add and subtract from his heater, sitting most comfortably in the low-90s. Jefferies throws his slider across his body, and it serves as more of a chase pitch right now. He doesn't use his changeup that much, but it has good sink and has been effective against left-handed hitters at times. A former shortstop, Jefferies fields his position very well and is extremely competitive on the mound.
Jefferies did return at the end of May to throw eight scoreless innings over two outings, which undoubtedly helped point him back in the right direction. If the medicals check out, a team could still take Jefferies early, thinking he could be a Mike Leake or Jeremy Hellickson-like undersized right-hander.
Baseball America has Jefferies at 61st.
Jefferies have been compared to Mike Leake (who went straight from college to the pro without a minor league stop), Jeremy Hellickson (who had a great start to his MLB career before falling on hard time), and Oakland A's Sonny Gray (size and also the youthful look).
Since more and more injured players (particularly pitchers) are still drafted quite high (for their upsides), I think the odds are still good for Jefferies to be taken in the 2nd round as a team will still take a chance on Jefferies and his mid-90's fast ball and overall great control. Yes, he would be more "projectable" if he is taller (Jefferies is only 6 foot tall) but the numbers that he put up (when healthy) this year have just been phenomenal (yes, I know that looking at actual stats for the MLB Draft is still just a small component).
Brett Cumberland (sophomore C)
2016 Stats: BA/OBP/SLG of 0.344/0.480/0.678, 16 HR, 51 RBI
Near Pac-12 triple crown winner Brett Cumberland (he was leading in all three categories of batting average, homeruns, and RBI's until a late slump caused his batting average to drop to 6th in the Pac) was the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
After splitting time in his freshman year, Cumberland has really come to his own in his sophomore campaign. Due to his age, he is draft eligible despite being just a sophomore with no red shirt year.
MLB Pipeline has him 69th on the top 200 list:
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 40 | Arm: 45 | Field: 40 | Overall: 45
It might be difficult finding college catchers who can stay behind the plate in the Class of 2016. Finding ones who can hit is a bit easier, with Cumberland having one of the best offensive seasons of any college backstop in the country as a Draft-eligible sophomore.
Hitting in the middle of a veteran Cal lineup, Cumberland has proven to be one of the most advanced college bats in the class this year. The switch-hitter has a terrific approach, takes pitches and draws walks, with all signs pointing to hitting for average. He also doesn't miss mistakes, punishing fastballs and reaching double-digits in home runs this spring. The big question is whether he can stay behind the plate. It's a work in progress with his hands, agility and fringy arm, but some feel he has a chance to play the position professionally, albeit as an offensive-minded backstop.
Because of his advanced bat, a team that feels he can stick at the hard-to-find position is the one that will take him in the early rounds of the Draft.
Keith Law's latest has Cumberland at 82nd.
Baseball American has Cumberland at 90th.
For the year, Cumberland earned national recognition as a Golden Spikes semifinalist. He was also recently named on the All-American 3rd team nationally.
While he can still use more work defensively, the switch hitter with power and average from both sides is probably hitting well enough to be draft pretty early. I am holding out small hope that Cumberland might decide to return to Berkeley and work on his defense to become a first round talent next year.
Lucas Erceg (transferred to Menlo College for his junior year, 3B)
You can't talk about the potential of the 2016 Cal Baseball without briefly imagining how good the team can be if Lucas Erceg is still on it. The MVP of the 2016 Cal Baseball season (which went to the Regional), Erceg left Cal due to academic issues.
While Erceg becomes a bit of a mystery due to an year playing against NAIA competitions, plenty of solid MLB stars came through Junior College (in fact, MLB have the worst percentage of players holding a college degree) so I am sure that will not hurt him that much.
MLB Pipeline has him at 56 (just ahead of Daulton Jefferies):
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
After a strong sophomore season at Cal, scouts were excited to see what Erceg could do to raise his profile as a power-hitting third basemen. He's still considered one of the better college bats out west, but after transferring to Menlo College in the NAIA, it's become a bit tougher to evaluate his performance.
The left-handed hitter reminds some of a young Chase Utley in terms of body type. There is some pop in his bat as he reached double-digits in home runs as a sophomore and had easily surpassed that with Menlo in 2016. At times, he's looked like a middle of the order corner bat, while there are other instances where he hasn't been as consistent and figuring out how his bat will play is more difficult while watching him against NAIA competition. He is athletic and should be able to stay at third, with a strong arm that fires 93-94 mph fastballs as Menlo's closer.
A team that takes Erceg early will be one that believes in the bat based on what he did at Cal as well as with Menlo this year. A lack of impact bats at the college level will undoubtedly help his stock.
Keith Law has Erceg at 47th.
Baseball America has Erceg at 72nd.
Erceg also pulled the double duty of being a position player who can pitch at times. While I recall him having good velocity, I never saw that much refinement in his pitching to think that he can stick there.
The rest of the list are Cal guys who are likely to be drafted at some point in the 40 rounds of the draft. Even if they are not drafted, these players (if seniors) can probably latch on somewhere to be organization depth for a few seasons if they want to pursue that path.
For what it's worth, Baseball America has a list of top 500 prospects and they don't include these guys.
Ryan Mason (senior RHP)
2016 stats: 8-4, 3.21 ERA, 65 K in 87 innings
If you watch the Pac-12 Networks feature on the Cal senior, you know that Mason thought that he was going to be drafted and turn pro last year. After being bypass by the pro teams, Mason came back to Cal and had a great start to the year. Near the top of many Cal Baseball pitching records due to his career longevity and the fact that he has both pitched as the ace (Friday starter) and as the closer, Mason is probably a better college player than a pro prospect.
Then again, Mason's numbers were marred by some late season bad outings when he tried to carry the Golden Bears. He picked up two losses in that final Utah series because of his willingness to try to close on Monday after starting on Saturday.
Mason is also capable of doing stuff like this that garnered national attentions:
I think someone (probably a local west coast team) will pick Mason up in around the first 20 rounds.
Mitchell Kranson (senior LF/3B/1B/C)
2016 stats: 0.333/0.376/0.474, team high 15 doubles, 5 homers
Mitchell, "El Gaucho", Kranson will forever have a place in Cal Baseball lore due to this:
The lack of a position (even if you spin it as versatility) may limit Kranson's draft stock. I have actually haven't seen much about Kranson's potential in pro ball.
Also in the mix
Other Golden Bears who may hear their name called include a few seniors: 1B Nick Halamandaris (does not hit enough to stick at 1st base), OF Devin Pearson (who has to play DH in his senior due to an injury causing him to not be able to throw...Pearson will only be drafted if someone thinks that he can get back to playing the field), and 2B/LF Brendan Farney (who hasn't show great hitting ability but had a poor 2016, possibly due to some injuries that I am not aware of).
Possibly Drafted but I think they will be back
Junior CF Aaron Knapp is a MLB prospect due to his athleticism and defensive ability. His older brother Andrew Knapp is in the Phillies AAA team right now and is probably the next Cal alum to make the big league. A bad year by Knapp at the plate should mean that Aaron is back next year to try to improve his hitting. Baseball America has Aaron Knapp ranked at 466th.
Junior RHP Alex Schick was injured for most of the year but has the size and possibly stuff to draw MLB interest. Healthy Schick and Jefferies at the end of the 2016 season were part of that long shot in which Cal Baseball had to hope for a postseason berth despite a bad RPI. Schick was originally considered to be in the mix for the Cal closer role this year. Baseball America has Alex Schick ranked 498th in their top 500.
Best of luck to all the Golden Bears, particularly the seniors.