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MLB Draft: Three Cal Pitchers, Baker Picked in Second Day

July 12, 2021

Three Cal pitchers and second baseman Darren Baker were selected Monday in the second day of the annual Major League Draft in Denver.

Junior right-hander Grant Holman was the sixth round selection of the Oakland A’s, the 188th player selected. In the eighth round right-hander Sean Sullivan was picked by the Pirates, No. 223 overall, and 13 picks later, Ian Villers went to the Giants, also in the eighth round.

Baker had to wait until the tenth round to hear his name called. He was chosen with the 293rd pick by the Washington Nationals, the team that fired his father Dusty four years ago.

At 6-6, 250 Holman was one of the tallest players in the draft. After missing the first portion of the 2021 season because of offseason surgery, he had a 1-3 record with a 3.83 ERA in ten games. After splitting time between the mound and first base in 2019 and 2020, he was strictly a pitcher this year. The stat that undoubtedly caught the pro team’s attention was the fact he had 46 strikeouts  and just 22 walks in 47 innings.

He is slotted to earn about $255,000 in a signing bonus if he signs by August 1, but he could decide to return to Cal for another season and hope he can improve his draft status for 2022 with an injury-free, productive season.

Sullivan (6-3, 175) went 4-5 with a 3.68 ERA and ranked 10th in the Pac-12  with 75 strikeouts. He posted a 1.28 WHIP and a .252 average against in 78.1 innings pitched. The junior was an Honorable Mention All-Conference choice. His slotted signing bonus is about $193,000.

Villers, who like Holman stands 6-6, led the Bears with 29 appearances (five starts in 2021. He was 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA. In conference games he allowed just three earned runs in 18 innings. One of nine consecutive pitchers chosen by the Giants he is slotted to earn about $176,000 in the signing bonus.

Baker had an outstanding senior season  in Berkeley and was an All-Pac-121 first team selection. Posted career-highs in batting average (.327), runs (44), hits (73), walks (28), on-base percentage (.402) and stolen bases (28).

He was one of two Bears to start all 55 games and had made 123 consecutive starts dating back to his sophomore season. Ironically, his dad managed his new team for four years but was let go in 2017, The senior Baker now manages the Astros, who lead the AL West.

Shortstop Carson Williams from Torrey Pines in Southern California had committed to Cal, but was chosen in the first round Sunday. With a slotted value of nearly $2.5 million, he likely will turn pro and forget about the Bears.

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MLB Draft: Three Cal Pitchers, Baker Picked in Second Day

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