August 06, 2012
On Sunday night, the California baseball program saw its 10th player this season play at the Major League level.
2009 first-round draft pick Brett Jackson took his place alongside Allen Craig (St. Louis Cardinals), Josh Satin (New York Mets), Tyson Ross (Oakland A's), Brandon Morrow (Toronto Blue Jays), Brennan Boesch (Detroit Tigers), Geoff Blum (Arizona Diamondbacks), Xavier Nady (Washington Nationals), David Cooper (Toronto) and John Baker (San Diego Padres), who have all played in the bigs this season.
Jackson went 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk in a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The fourth-highest overall draft pick in school history hit .303 in 152 games over three seasons in Berkeley, scoring 91 runs, knocking in 85, tallying 25 doubles, 11 triples and 12 homers with 27 stolen bases. In two of his three seasons, Jackson stole at least 11 bases.
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Jackson became the 50th player in the 120-year history of the program to reach the bigs.
The Boys in Blue have a former Bear of their own waiting in the wings in the person of outfielder Blake Smith. Smith is currently hitting .266 at Double-A Chattanooga with 22 doubles, three triples and 11 home runs.
The Cubs recently drafted two-time All-Pac-10 Cal catcher Chadd Krist in the First-Year Player Draft in June.
Krist lit up short-season Single-A Boise with a .328 batting average in 16 games, and was promptly promoted to Single-A Peoria, where he's hit .303 in 18 games with two home runs and 12 RBI.
Krist -- one of two Bears taken on the first day of the draft -- was part of a six-man 2012 draft class which included second-round pick Tony Renda. Renda -- currently hitting .222 for the Single-A Short Season Auburn Doubledays -- was picked up by the Washington Nationals with the 80th pick.
Renda is one of two former Cal players currently in the Nats' system, along with former teammate Dixon Anderson -- a ninth-round pick in 2011. The big righty has thrown 10.0 innings over four games, including three starts, and has allowed seven hits and no runs while striking out five.
In other minor league news, former Bears closer Matt Gorgen has been moved up to Triple-A Reno in the Diamondbacks' system, and has posted a 3.27 ERA in eight relief appearances, walking three and striking out six.
Satin -- who had a cup of coffee last year and in 2012 -- is hitting .296 with Triple-A Buffalo.
At the big league level, Craig leads the Cal contingent. After making the World Series-winning catch in 2011, Craig has come back to post a .295 batting average with a career-high 15 homers, 56 RBI and 48 runs in 67 games for the Cardinals.
A day ago, Cooper hit the game-tying homer in the ninth inning against the Athletics in an eventual 3-1 11th-inning win for the Blue Jays. In 31 games this season, Cooper -- who socked 17 homers for the Bears in 2008 -- is hitting .291 with six doubles, three longballs and seven RBI. In 27 games in 2011, Cooper hit .211 with two circuit shots and 12 RBI while striking out 14 times to seven walks.
Cooper's teammate Morrow -- a top-five selection of the Seattle Mariners in 2006 -- is having the finest season of his big league career, posting a 3.01 ERA in 77.2 innings of work, holding opposing batters to a .194 average in his 13 starts. Morrow is currently 7-4 with 67 strikeouts to just 24 walks.
Boesch has started much of the year in the Detroit outfield, but has not yet been able to replicate the success of his .320 rookie season in 2010. In 2012, Boesch is hitting .251 with 11 homers with 46 RBI.