MLB draft: Fresno State juniors, recruits draw more attention on final day

The Fresno BeeJune 7, 2014 

Mike Batesole knew he had assembled a special 2014 recruiting class.

But the Fresno State baseball coach didn't realize just how talented until Major League Baseball scouts and general managers weighed in the past three days -- with a Bulldogs-record six signees selected in this year's amateur draft, all in the first 20 rounds.

The record-setting class may not make much of a difference on the college diamond if Batesole isn't able to persuade at least some them to hold off on pro ball.

For now, Batesole focused on the positives.

"It's been a crazy three days," he said Saturday as the draft concluded the last of its 40 rounds. "I think it goes to show that we're getting into the right houses, signing some really good players.

"And if you recruited the right kids, they'll likely hold off going pro and will want to go to school. But we've got a lot of re-recruiting we have to do."

It's not just the incoming freshmen that Fresno State stands to lose, but also those already on Batesole's roster. Six players who would be seniors next season were drafted.

Bulldogs pitcher Jordan Brink highlighted a group of 10 players with local ties selected on the final day.

Brink went to the Chicago Cubs with the fourth pick of the 11th round (No. 319 overall).

He was joined by Fresno State shortstop Chris Mariscal in the 14th (No. 411) to Seattle, pitcher Garrett Mundell in the 18th (No. 540) to Arizona and catcher Trent Woodward in the 20th (No. 586) to Houston.

Bulldogs teammates Jordan Luplow and Derick Velazquez, also juniors, were drafted Friday.

Fresno State might need the majority of its drafted players to return for their final seasons if the Bulldogs are to snap a two-year run of sub-.500 campaigns.

"It is a tough decision, and it's so different for each individual," Mundell said. "I'm excited at the possibility of starting my pro career. It's just so amazing, just awesome.

"At the same time, I really enjoy Fresno State, love the coaches. All of us would like another ring and to go out on a high note. If we could get everyone (who was drafted) back, there's no doubt in my mind Fresno State would have another NCAA Tournament team."

Right-hander Gabriel Llanes of Downey was the first Bulldogs recruit drafted Saturday, taken by the New York Mets in the 15th round at No. 445.

Buchanan outfielder and Bulldogs recruit Trenton Kemp went in the 15th round to Boston at No. 464.

Clovis third baseman McCarthy Tatum was the last of the Fresno State recruits selected, going in the 20th round to Minnesota, No. 590 overall.

They're part of a Bulldogs class that saw Sanger pitcher Luis Ortiz (first-rounder), Westlake High-Westlake Village second baseman Luke Dykstra (seventh) and Liberty-Madera Ranchos righty Stetson Woods (ninth) drafted earlier.

"This is an awesome class with a lot of great players," Kemp said. "I'm just happy right now with what's happened.

"I know Fresno State will have a very good team next year, and I'm happy to have that in my back pocket."

Others of note who heard their names called Saturday included Clovis West graduate Eric Karch, a pitcher at Pepperdine, who went in the 22nd round to Pittsburgh.

Fresno Pacific first baseman Joshua Banuelos went in the 28th round to Kansas City and Buchanan pitcher Michael Bono in the 35th to St. Louis.

MLB.com reported that Clovis shortstop and USC recruit Jake Gatewood, a shortstop who may eventually move to third base or the outfield, has agreed to a $1.83 million signing bonus after Milwaukee selected him with the 41st pick Thursday.

"What a draft year for baseball in the Valley," Batesole said. "I just hope they understand that you're not going straight to the majors. So why not enjoy college life, get your degree, get some championships, then go pro later when you're a little older."


MLB draft selections

Players from Fresno-area high schools and colleges selected in the 2014 major league baseball amateur draft, with position, school, MLB team, round and overall draft slot. Day 3 was continuing Saturday.

• Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger High, Texas Rangers, 1st, No. 30

• Jake Gatewood, SS, Clovis High, Milwaukee Brewers, Competitive Balance A, No. 41

• Jordan Luplow, RF, Fresno State/Buchanan High, Pittsburgh Pirates, 3rd, No. 100

• Derick Velazquez, RHP, Fresno State, Houston Astros, 7th, No. 196

• Max Schuh, LHP, UCLA/Edison High, Baltimore Orioles, 7th, No. 211

• Stetson Woods, RHP, Liberty High-Madera Ranchos, San Francisco Giants, 9th, No. 268

• Jordan Brink, RHP, Fresno State/Central High, Chicago Cubs, 11th, No. 319

• Chris Mariscal, SS, Fresno State/Clovis North, Seattle Mariners, 14th, No. 411

• Trenton Kemp, CF, Buchanan High, Boston Red Sox, 15th, No. 464

• Garrett Mundell, RHP, Fresno State, Arizona Diamondbacks, 18th, No. 540

• Trent Woodward, C, Fresno State, Houston Astros, 20th, No. 586

• McCarthy Tatum, 3B, Clovis High, Minnesota Twins, 20th, No. 590

• Eric Karch, RHP, Clovis West High/Pepperdine, Pittsburgh Pirates, 22nd, No. 671

• Josh Banuelos 1B, Fresno Pacific/Fresno City/Hanford High, Kansas City Royals, 28th, 843

• Michael Bono, RHP, Buchanan High, St. Louis Cardinals, 35th, No. 1,065

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