Bulldogs’ Ryan Jensen on throwing 100 mph
Fresno State ace Ryan Jensen has signed with the Chicago Cubs, who selected the right-hander in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft last week just as the Bulldogs were about to start a winner-take-all NCAA Tournament game at the Stanford Regional.
“I was not expecting that,” Jensen said. “There were rumors – maybe the compensation round, picks 40 and after. But it’s just awesome to be in this position and to be drafted by the Cubs, it’s a great opportunity with such a historic team and such a great organization.”
Jensen reportedly agreed to a $2 million signing bonus, less than the $2.57 million slot value as the No. 27 overall selection in the draft. He declined to confirm that number, but it allows the Cubs greater flexibility in signing the top end of their draft class.
The junior from Salinas, who was 12-1 with an ERA of 2.88 in 100 innings this season for the Bulldogs, will head to the Cubs’ spring training complex in Mesa, Ariz.
“They’re going to have me on a throwing program and just throwing bullpens for a little bit,” Jensen said. “I know they’re probably not going to have me throw too many innings, because they’ve already mentioned that I’ve thrown a lot.”
Down the stretch, Jensen allowed only 14 hits and four runs over 30 2/3 innings in victories over San Diego State, at UNLV, at Nevada in the Mountain West Conference Tournament and over UC Santa Barbara in the Bulldogs’ opening game at the Stanford Regional.
He had eight strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings in a 9-2 victory over the Gauchos, and in his junior season racked up 107 strikeouts while allowing only 82 hits. He was the Pitcher of the Year in the Mountain West and the Most Valuable Player at the conference tournament.
“I’m not sure yet what the plan is for the season yet,” he said. “I know they’re going to have a good plan for me, so I’m going trust them. They’re smart guys. They’ll know what to do.”