Three current Cal Poly baseball players and a trio of others with local ties were selected Tuesday during the second of three days of the MLB Draft.
Mustangs juniors Bobby Crocker and Jeff Johnson went in the top 10 rounds, and senior Frankie Reed was snapped up just before the day’s end. Arroyo Grande High senior Kyle Raubinger was the only local prep player taken, joining former Eagle and former Cuesta College standout Todd Simko on the draft board.
Cal Poly signee Nick Grim has a decision on his hands, as well, after being drafted out of Monterey Peninsula College.
Notable Mustangs who remain available going into today’s 31st through 50th rounds include junior pitcher Mason Radeke, junior infielder Matt Jensen and senior pitcher Steven Fischback.
Crocker, an outfielder who was drafted in the 47th round by the Oakland Athletics coming out of Aptos High in 2008, was again selected by the American League’s Bay Area franchise, this time in the fourth round, at 136th overall.
Crocker hit .339 while manning center field this season to lead Cal Poly in batting for the second straight year. He finished with 13 doubles, a triple and five home runs.
Johnson was taken in the 10th round (308th overall) by the Cleveland Indians. The right-handed closer had a 1.63 ERA and 40 strikeouts while racking up five saves in 272⁄3 innings this season.
Simko, a 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher, transferred to Texas A&M-Corpus Christie, where he posted a school-record 10 wins as a junior and went to the Washington Nationals in the 21st round (643rd overall).
Simko overcame a life-threatening car crash his junior year at Arroyo Grande and returned to the field as a senior. A cousin of Paso Robles native and Fresno State star softball pitcher Michelle Moses (who was named to Easton’s All-America third team Tuesday), Simko has increased his velocity every year since the accident.
“He was showing flashes of low-90s (mph), and he hit some 93s when he was here,” Cuesta head coach Bob Miller said, “but his working fastball is up to 95 now.”
Raubinger, who signed a letter of intent with Loyola Marymount, was drafted in the 28th round (845th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles. “I’m just happy to be drafted, and it’s a relief that it’s done,” Raubinger said. “Not many people get this opportunity.”
A 6-foot-2, 195-pound left-handed batter, Raubinger hit .419 with 25 RBI and an area-best seven home runs this year for Arroyo Grande. He also pitched 612⁄3 innings for a 1.25 ERA with 65 strikeouts, leading the Eagles to the PAC 7 title.
The Orioles were on Raubinger’s radar as a team with interest, he said, as he talked with them more than anyone else.
As for whether he’ll play collegiately or opt to go into the minors right away, Raubinger said the decision is up in the air for now. It could hinge on how much money he’s offered and if it would be enough to offset his scholarship package at LMU.
Grim could face a similar decision. The sophomore pitcher was taken by the in the 14th round (433rd) overall by the Florida Marlins after putting up a 6-3 record, a 2.81 ERA and 95 strikeouts while limiting opposing batters to a .180 average in 831⁄3 innings at MPC this season.
Without Johnson, Fischback and Reed — a left-handed reliever who was taken in the 27th round (823rd overall) by the Marlins — Cal Poly would have room for Grim to contribute right away.
The return of Radeke would also be a blessing for the Mustangs. The junior from Santa Barbara High has seen 16 pitchers from the Big West Conference get taken before him, despite being one of the conference’s best all year long.
Radeke ranked 10th in the conference with a 3.07 ERA and second in strikeouts with 95. Tied for second in the conference with eight victories, nobody had more called strikeouts (41) than Radeke.
In his third straight injury-plagued season at Cal Poly, Jensen — a former freshman All-American — batted .209 with one home run and 13 RBI in 2011. He was an 11th-round pick by the Seattle Mariners out of Clovis East High in 2008.