Four Cal Bears selected in 2021 MLB Draft
Cal Alum Marcus Semien got the first RBI of the MLB All-Star Game
The later than usual MLB Draft took place at the All-Star Weekend for the first time earlier this week from Denver.
With how teams really not able to afford to miss out on their draft picks in the first 10 or so rounds now, almost everyone taken in the first two days are almost certain to sign and turn pro. The most prominent Cal Baseball commit and all of the Cal Bears, including three juniors with an extra year of eligibility, were taken in the first two days of the draft.
On Day 1, Cal commit SS/P Carson Williams was taken in the first round by the Tampa Bay Rays.
As expected in my preview, RHP Grant Holman was the first Cal Bear player off the board. Holman, the former two-way player turned staff ace, was taken on Day 2 by the Oakland A’s in the back-end of the 6th round. The A’s had also taken former Cal ace Daulton Jefferies, who made his MLB debut in 2020, back in 2016.
The second Cal Bears off the board is fellow junior RHP Sean Sullivan, who was the first pick of the 8th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sullivan had been a starter for the Bears for the past two seasons after being the co-closer in his freshman year. The Pirates had taken former Cal pitcher Aaron Shortridge back in the 2018 draft.
Later in the 8th round, Cal RHP Ian Villers, who had only worked out of the bullpen was taken by the San Francisco Giants.
In the 10th round, the Washington Nationals again select 2B Darren Baker, who was coming off a pretty solid senior season. Baker was drafted in the 27th round by the Nationals out of high school, back when the Nats had his father Dusty as the manager.
Of course, this pick got a lot of national attention for Darren Baker’s misadventure as a bat boy during the 2002 World Series.
No other Cal Bears were drafted, but senior 3B Quentin Selma was quickly signed by the Los Angeles Angels after the draft. The Angels had spent all 20 picks on pitchers, so they really needed some position players to add to their system.
As for the MLB All-Star Game itself, Cal alum Marcus Semien was voted by the fans as the starting 2B for the American League. He drove in the first run of the game in the top of the first inning.
After a slowish start, Marcus Semien’s decision to bet on himself by signing just a one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays has really paid off. After a bad season in the significantly shortened 2020 campaign, Semien should be able to earn a big long-term contract this offseason.
Improving his future MLB Draft stock this past week was Cal rising junior OF Dylan Beavers with the USA National Team.
In the last game of the intrasquad series, Beavers had a big game, including his first home run.
Coming off a very successful sophomore season (.303/.401/.630 slash line with a Pac-12 best 18 home runs), Beavers had already significantly raised his draft stock in 2021. Showing that he can hit with the wooden bat this past week in such a showcase situation that is the USA National Team camp should further improve his stock. Beavers will almost certainly be the first Cal Bear taken in the 2022 MLB Draft.