After a disappointing season, four Dirtbags will have the opportunity to make their mark in the MLB after being drafted this week. Junior second baseman Jarren Duran was selected in the seventh round by the Boston Red Sox, while junior pitchers Eli Villalobos, Clayton Andrews and Chris Rivera were selected in the 14th, 17th and 33rd round respectively.
Duran was a .294 career hitter for the Dirtbags and improved his on-base percentage in every season, posting an OBP of .380 this past season. He has 49 career stolen bases, which ranks fourth in program history. Duran led LBSU in hits (67), runs scored (42), home runs (2) and stolen bases (17). Duran has spent most of his time in the infield, but will most likely find himself in centerfield for the Red Sox. He did not commit an error during Big West action this season, and turned in 34 double plays for the Dirtbags.
In the 14th round, the Miami Marlins selected Villalobos. He led all Dirtbags pitchers with 28 appearances, entering 26 games out of the bullpen. As a reliever, Villalobos was 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA, striking out a batter per inning in 36.0 innings of work while allowing opposing batters to hit just .185 against him.
Andrews was drafted in the 17th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. He was the winner of five Big West Pitcher of the Week awards this year and became the first player to win four in a row. He finished the year with a 1.99 ERA and a Big West-high 118 strikeouts in 99.2 IP. Andrews ended the season strong with a first team All-Big West selection.
To round off the draft, Rivera was selected in the 33rd round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He posted a 0.68 ERA in 13.1 innings pitched across 12 appearances. He collected eight saves and recorded 19 strikeouts against just three walks. On the season, Rivera struck out 45 batters in 36.2 innings, while only issuing five walks.
This class of draftees continue Long Beach State’s 18-year streak of having multiple players drafted into the pros.