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MLB: Picks span spectrum

Vogelsang picked by Dodgers, becomes first Wildcat to be drafted; UCSB’s Valaika selected by Cards

Posted: June 9, 2010 10:51 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch graduate and College of the Canyons outfielder Cal Vogelsang was selected in the 37th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

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Two local baseball players at opposite ends of the spectrum were selected Wednesday on the third and final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

One has a decision to make.

For the other it's clear.

Hart High graduate and UC Santa Barbara senior Matt Valaika was selected in the 34th round by the St. Louis Cardinals and West Ranch High graduate and College of the Canyons freshman Cal Vogelsang was drafted in the 37th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Valaika will sign with the Cardinals and likely report to the Short-Season Single-A Batavia Muckdogs.

Vogelsang has many options. He can return to COC for his sophomore year and maybe get drafted higher next season. He could return to COC and then sign with an NCAA Division I program. He can also sign.

"I'm going to weigh my pros and cons," Vogelsang said. "Obviously it will come down to my decision ultimately. ... Signability will be tough. It will have to be enough money for me to leave school and enough money for me to be a prospect to move up the minor leagues."

Nonetheless, Vogelsang said he was thrilled to be drafted by his hometown team.

"This has been my dream since I was 7 years old to see my name on the (draft) board," Vogelsang said. "It was really exciting. At first, I felt starstruck. ... For a hometown team to take me was even greater."

Vogelsang is the first West Ranch graduate ever drafted by a Major League team.

He was selected 1,132nd overall.

The 19-year-old was recently named to the Southern California All-America team. The outfielder batted .380 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.

Valaika will now join his brother Chris in professional baseball. Chris Valaika was drafted in the third round of the 2006 draft by the Cincinnati Reds and is currently playing with the Triple-A Louisville Bats.

Matt Valaika said he did get concerned that he would not get drafted as time went on.

"I wasn't even watching the draft," he said. "I was in finals. I was writing a paper and on the computer when the scout called and asked. He said I was crazy for not watching. He then asked, ‘How do you like being a Cardinal? We just took you.'"

Valaika was chosen 1,039th overall.

Last year, he was drafted by the Reds in the 20th round.

He was an All-Big West Honorable Mention for the second straight year and hit .301 with four home runs and 35 RBIs this past season.

The middle infielder said his mother kept trying to call him while he was on the phone with the scout.

"She called me back," Valaika said. "She was in tears."

Valaika said scouts asked him about his little brother, new Hart graduate Patrick, but he wasn't chosen.

Five locals were taken in this year's draft.

The highest was Valencia graduate and UC Riverside senior Michael Hur.

Hur was selected 601st overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 20th round on Tuesday.

The 2006 Valencia graduate received his second All-Big West Conference nod this year, batting .329 with eight home runs.

"Just another great kid with tremendous work ethic.
Probably one of the more pure hitters to come out of our program," said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder.

Saugus High graduate Casey Stevenson was selected in the 25th round by the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

The Master's College pitcher Joe Zeller went in the 28th round to the Chicago Cubs.

 

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