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June 6, 2012

DRAFT: Oh, Donofrio find big league homes



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For the first time since 2009, and the third time in five years, the California baseball program has seen seven players drafted into the big leagues -- tying a school record.

Following the selections of Tony Renda (80th overall, Washington Nationals), Chadd Krist (284th overall, Chicago Cubs), Mitch Delfino (628th overall, San Francisco Giants), Justin Jones (790th overall, Minnesota Twins) and Matt Flemer (828th overall, Colorado Rockies), seniors Danny Oh and Joey Donofrio were taken in the 27th and 31st rounds with the 847th and 960th overall picks, respectively.

Following Flemer's selection by the Rockies in the 26th round, the New York Yankees quickly snatched up one of the sweetest-swinging lefty bats left in Oh. Oh becomes the first Bear taken by the Bronx Bombers since Cody McCormick was taken in 1995.

The native of Mill Creek, Wash., finished the season on an 18-for-29 tear (.621), reaching base 26 times in 37 plate appearances. Oh concluded his senior season with a .344 batting average, scoring 27 runs while tallying four doubles, a triple and a home run, trailing only second-round selection Renda in on-base percentage with a .432 mark.

In four years, Oh posted a .295 career batting average with 119 runs scored and 88 RBI, with 21 doubles, five triples and 11 home runs. As a freshman in 2009, Oh hit .303 (59-for-195) with five doubles, two triples, 35 RBI and seven home runs -- including one in his first collegiate at-bat on Feb. 20 against UC Riverside.

Oh hit .294 (65-for-221) as a sophomore and earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 recognition, thanks to a career-high 10-game hitting streak during which he hit .429 with three doubles, a triple and nine RBI and hit .306 with runners in scoring position.

The 6-foot, 196-pounder saw his role reduced in 2011, going 18-for-86 with a double, a home run and 10 RBI, but hit .318 against conference foes. Oh registered a hit in four of the last eight games he played in 2011, and went 0-for-1 in two games during the postseason.

Senior righty Joey Donofrio was picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals just a few rounds later, as the Redbirds snatched the slider artist with the 960th overall pick in the 31st round. Donofrio joins current big leaguer Allen Craig as a Cardinal, and the fourth Bear taken by St. Louis in the past six years.

The fifth-year senior experienced a renaissance in his final season, posting a staff-best 1.88 ERA in 25 appearances, going 6-1 with two saves in 38.1 innings. Donofrio struck out 43 with just 11 walks with a .218 opposing batting average. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder out of Los Gatos (Calif.) made 10 appearances as a junior, giving up just one earned run in 12.2 innings for a 0.71 ERA, with 15 strikeouts and three walks, holding opponents to a .178 batting average.

Donofrio was on the mound twice in the 2011 postseason, going 2.0 innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts in the opening game of the Houston Regional, and pitching one inning with one hit, one walk and two unearned runs against Virginia in Cal's final game of the College World Series.

Donofrio finishes his career with a 3.14 ERA, striking out 63 hitters to only 15 walks in 57.1 innings.


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