California Blog - College

The 2012 Major League First-Year Player Draft has concluded, and seven Cal baseball players have been selected by big league clubs:

Tony Renda: 80th overall, 2nd round, Washington Nationals
Chadd Krist: 284th overall, 9th round, Chicago Cubs
Mitch Delfino: 628th overall, 20th round, San Francisco Giants
Justin Jones: 790th overall, 26th round, Minnesota Twins
Matt Flemer: 828th overall, 26th round, Colorado Rockies
Danny Oh: 847th overall, 27th round, New York Yankees
Joey Donofrio: 960th overall, 31st round, St. Louis Cardinals

Of the three juniors selected -- Renda, Delfino and Jones -- two are very likely to return. Renda will sign his contract on Friday after a Thursday appearance on the Bear Republic Podcast, so he's gone, but the key here will be Jones and Delfino.

Delfino had a 15th-round cutoff, but being drafted by the hometown Giants may play into him possibly leaving.

A source within the program has said that Jones is definitely returning, which will make the Bears pitching staff very, very deep.

Jones's return will put him immediately into the Friday-night slot in the pitching rotation, and he will likely be followed by big righty Logan Scott and junior lefty Kyle Porter, who struggled through injury as a sophomore and only logged 20.1 innings after a Freshman All-American season.

That will likely move junior lefty Michael Theofanopoulos into a weekday role, along with soft-tossing sophomore lefty Chris Muse-Fisher and sophomore control specialist Keaton Siomkin, not to mention incoming power pitcher Cal Becker and 6-foot-6 righty Ryan Mason. Becker could also slot into Porter's former role as a late-inning reliever, getting him ready for a starting role as a sophomore. Young staff? Yes. Talented? You bet.

If Delfino does indeed return, he will add a heap of power to the lineup, particularly at the corners. The power tandem of Delfino and first baseman Devon Rodriguez -- who missed the season with a freak knee injury -- will anchor the middle of the lineup, and provide a veteran presence on the infield.

Cal committed a conference-worst 97 errors this season, and Delfino himself booted 17 balls -- more than his career total of 11 heading into 2012. With a healthy arm and another summer of wooden-bat league experience, Delfino should rebound to be a stabilizing force at the hot corner.

The draft may also change the Bears' recruiting class, but only a bit. Powerful first baseman and corner outfielder Nick Halamandaris out of Monterey (Calif.)  Robert Lewis Stevenson was chosen 251st overall in the eighth round by the Seattle Mariners.

Also a tight end on his high school's football team, Halamandaris has been named to Monterey County Herald's All-County baseball team the last two years. He was also 2011 first-team Mission Trial Athletic League and finished last season with 38 hits, 11 multi-hit games, nine doubles, a triple, four home runs and 29 RBI.

Halamandaris has yet to respond to queries about his future, but BearTerritory.net will have the latest as soon as it's available.

Projected Lineup:
CF SR Darrell Matthews (L)
DH JR Mike Reuvekamp (R)
1B SR Devon Rodriguez (L)
C JR Andrew Knapp (S)
3B SR Mitch Delfino (R)
LF SO Chris Paul (R)
RF SR Vince Bruno (L)
2B SO Brenden Farney (L)
SS JR Derek Campbell (R)

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