Cal baseball will send another fresh batch of talent to the pros, as five former players have been selected in the 2018 MLB draft.
Tanner Dodson, Aaron Shortridge, Jonah Davis, Tyrus Greene and Joey Matulovich became the latest group of Bears to move on to the professional ranks over the past three days; each player was selected by a big-league club.
Dodson was the highest selection of the bunch — the Tampa Bay Rays called his number with the 71st overall pick in Competitive Balance Round B.
Shortridge was selected 114th overall, in the fourth round, while Davis was selected 444th overall, in the 15th round. The players may find themselves wearing the same uniform once again, as both were selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Chicago White Sox drafted Greene with the 468th overall pick, in the 16th round, while the Milwaukee Brewers selected Matulovich with the 605th overall pick, in round 20.
In his junior campaign with the Bears, Dodson established himself as one of the premier two-way players in the Pac-12 en route to Pac-12 All-Conference and All-Defensive team selections. On the mound, the Sacramento native put together a 2.47 ERA while recording a program-record 11 saves.
At the plate, Dodson finished his final season at Cal with career highs in batting average (.320), on-base percentage (.384), hits (73), RBI (27) and stolen bases (12).
For his proficiency on both sides of the ball, Dodson was selected as one of three finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.
Shortridge and Davis
Shortridge was Cal’s bona fide ace on the bump, leading the team’s starters in ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts, as well as pitching all three of the Bears’ complete games. The Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention entered the season as a reliever but transitioned to a starter role and never looked back, finishing his junior year with a 2.77 ERA over 91 innings.
Davis transformed himself from a solid, middle-of-the-order bat into one of the conference’s deadliest sluggers, setting personal bests in every significant offensive category.
In his last go-round with the Bears, Davis was one of nine players in the Pac-12 with a .300-plus batting average (.321) and double-digit home runs (14).
Greene and Matulovich
Greene improved upon a solid sophomore campaign, batting .320 with an on-base percentage of .414 as a junior. The catcher also flashed his speed, a rarity as his position, swiping nine bags.
Matulovich, on the other hand, began the season as a starter, later being relegated to a reliever, but it would be out of the bullpen where he shined brightest. In 27.1 innings pitched out of the pen, Matulovich compiled an ERA of 2.31 while striking out 27 opponents.
Matulovich and Shortridge were both key cogs in one of the better Cal pitching staffs in recent memory, helping cut down the team’s collective ERA from 5.17 last season to 4.20 this season.
The selection of the group marks the third consecutive year in which multiple Bears have been drafted.
Last year, Preston Grand Pre and Denis Karas were picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins, respectively. In 2016, a whopping seven former Cal players, not including those who transferred, were drafted, highlighted by Daulton Jefferies with the 37th overall pick.