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June 5, 2012

Krist picked by Cubs in ninth round



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California senior catcher Chadd Krist has been selected by the Chicago Cubs in the ninth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, being taken with the 284th pick overall.

A year ago, the two-time All-Pac-10 backstop was picked up by the other team in the Windy City -- the Chicago White Sox -- but chose to return to the Bears for his senior season.

During his fourth campaign in Berkeley, Krist surpassed the man who recruited him -- Jon Zuber -- to claim the program's all-time career doubles record, finishing with 64 career two-baggers.

Krist is the second Bear to be picked by a big league team in this year's draft, behind his 2011 roommate Tony Renda, who was picked up in the second round -- 80th pick overall -- by the Washington Nationals.

Originally a recruited walk-on, Krist has become one of the best catcher in the conference over the past four years, both offensively and behind the dish. He's a dependable, veteran pitch-caller and saves a lot of wild pitches with quick movement and plus body awareness. Krist becomes the second former Cal catcher to be picked by a team from the NL Central, with Charlie Cutler -- now with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization -- being picked in the 16th round in 2008.

Playing sparingly as a freshman in 2009, Krist hit just .197 (12-for-61) with four doubles, two homers and 10 RBI, but by the time his sophomore season had rolled around, Krist was ready to take the reins as the full-time backstop, and earned his first All-Pac-10 nod while batting .344 (66-for-192) with 15 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 44 RBI, hitting .373 with runners in scoring position.

As a junior, Krist helped to will the Bears into the College World Series, hitting .297 (70-for-236) with 43 RBI, a triple, two home runs and 27 doubles - second on the program's single-season doubles list. Krist was named a member of the 2011 Houston Regional All-Tournament Team thanks to an 8-for-21 weekend with three two-baggers, a triple and five RBI.

Krist hit .293 (12-for-41) during the postseason with five doubles, a triple, a home run and eight RBI in 2011, and hit .397 (31-for-78) with runners in scoring position.

After being picked by the White Sox in the 13th round, Krist decided to return for his senior season, along with righty Matt Flemer. Flemer has yet to be picked, but is likely to be taken soon.

As a senior, Krist hit .294 (65-for-221) with 29 runs, a team-leading 19 doubles, four homers and 36 RBI, while slugging .434 and owning a .983 fielding percentage.

Krist finishes his Cal career with a .300 batting average (213-for-710). Next season, junior Andrew Knapp will take hover behind the log for the Bears, with freshman-to-be Mitchell Kranson set to be his understudy.

Notes
With the 251st pick overall in the draft, and the third pick in the eighth round, the Seattle Mariners selected first baseman Nick Halamandaris, who signed with the Bears back in November out of Monterey (Calif.) Robert Lewis Stevenson. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder can also play the corner outfield slots.

Halamandaris, a left-handed power hitter who was also a tight end on his high school's football team, 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.

We'll have more for you on whether Halamandaris will go pro or stay true to his commitment.

With the 268th pick in the draft, the San Francisco Giants took lefty Joe Kurrasch, who was a member of the 2011 Cal baseball team before transferring to Penn State following the initial cancellation of the program.


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