Fresno State head baseball coach Mike Batesole told Sports Central Thursday the five Bulldog juniors who were drafted in this week's MLB draft, will be signing professional contracts and skipping their senior seasons at Fresno State.
Junior pitcher Ricky Tyler Thomas was the only Bulldog drafted Tuesday on day two of the draft, going in the 7th round to the Chicago Cubs. He told Sports Central that night he planned to sign with the Cubs.
The other four were all taken Wednesday during day three of the draft.
Aaron Arruda, the junior first baseman out of Buchanan High, who was named a First Team All West-Region by the American Baseball Coaches Association Thursday, went in the 12th round to the Oakland Athletics.
Outfielder Jared Akins went in the 13th round to the Minnesota Twins.
Pitcher Fred Schlichtholz was also taken in the 13th round by the San Diego Padres.
And pitcher Ricky Ramirez went in the 15th round to the Twins.
Batesole says he hears a lot from former players who left school early, and later wished they had finished out their college careers.
"I think this is my 24th or 25th year of coaching," said the Bulldogs head coach. I've literally had a hundred guys come back after they get done playing pro ball, and say 'I wish I would've stayed for my senior year.' I've never once had a guy say 'I wish I would've signed earlier.'"
But the Bulldog headman understands the allure of chasing the big league dream.
"They all want to go out and play, they're all itching to get their chance, be the next Aaron Judge." added Batesole. "But don't forget ,Judgy was 6'8" and 280 pounds. We lay it out for them, the pros and cons, and then generally, they want to sign anyways."
With all these juniors leaving early and eight seniors graduating, the Bulldogs will have a very young team next season. Batesole expects the squad to have 16 freshmen on the roster.