Following sensational junior campaigns with the Cal baseball team, Denis Karas and Preston Grand Pre have been drafted in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft.
Karas, who started every game and tied for the conference lead in home runs, has been selected by the Miami Marlins with the 299th overall pick in the 10th round while Grand Pre, a Southern California native, has been selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 24th round.
Karas is the seventh Bear to have been selected in the last three seasons and the third player picked by Miami over the last four seasons. He’ll join former teammate Aaron Knapp, who was selected in the 8th round with the 233rd overall pick in Miami’s farm system.
In 2017, Cal’s everyday third baseman hit .242/.312/.464 (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) with 12 home runs, tied for the most in the Pac-12 this season, and 37 RBI. Karas ended this season with the second-most RBI and total bases for the Bears.
Karas was previously selected in the 24th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates after earning MVP honors of the Diablo Foothill Athletic League in his senior season at Campolindo High School.
In 93 career games with the Bears, Karas is a .262/.335/.490 hitter with 17 home runs and 56 RBI. Karas only played 10 games during his freshman season because of a shoulder injury, but has been durable since the 2015 season.
Grand Pre only appeared in 24 games this season because of a broken hand which sidelined him for the first half, but the second baseman performed well upon his return to the diamond. In limited plate appearances, Grand Pre hit .325/.400/.425. Over 132 career games with the Bears, Grand Pre slashed .284/.331/.358.
One of Grand Pre’s most valuable traits is his ability to play multiple positions around the infield. Grand Pre split time at shortstop and second base in 2016 and spent a majority of his time at second base this season, but has played first base as well.