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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona’s Dalbec among top projected Pac-12 players

Alex McIntyre
Arizona infielder Bobby Dalbec (3) swings for the ball during a game against Oregon on March 29, 2015. Dalbec has been named to multiple preseason All-American teams already this season.

Year-in and year-out, the Pac-12 Conference seemingly always produces elite baseball players who go on to hear their names get called on draft day. Last year, 53 Pac-12 players were selected in the MLB Draft in June.

This year seems to be no different, as there are numerous Pac-12 players who could very well be seen in the major leagues one day.

Three Pac-12 players were recognized as Preseason All-Americans by the site D1Baseball for the upcoming season.

Oregon State first baseman KJ Harrison was named to the first team, while California pitcher Daulton Jefferies and Arizona third baseman and pitcher Bobby Dalbec were named to the second team.

Other standouts in the Pac-12 include ASU infielder Colby Woodmansee, Stanford pitcher Cal Quantrill and Oregon pitcher Matt Krook. Harrison had a freshman campaign for the ages, as he led the Pac-12 in RBI with 60 while posting a .309 average with 10 homeruns. The Hawaii native would go on to win Pac-12 Freshmen of the Year and was named a Freshmen All-American by D1Baseball, Baseball America and Louisville Slugger.

Needless to say, Harrison will be a force in the middle of the lineup for the No. 5 Beavers.

Jefferies solidified himself as the ace of the Golden Bears staff in 2015 after a solid sophomore season. Jefferies posted a 6-5 record with a 2.92 ERA and 74 strikeouts, which was good for seventh in the Pac-12.

Arizona fans wish not to be reminded of Jefferies after he went seven scoreless innings with four strikeouts in a win over the Wildcats in April of last season. Baseball America ranked Jefferies as the No. 24 best draft prospect in college baseball for the 2016 season.
Jefferies looks to continue to wreak havoc on Pac-12 hitters this season for the No. 8 Golden Bears.

The last Pac-12 player to be named a Preseason All-American is none other than Arizona’s very own Dalbec, who was named second team for both a hitter and pitcher. The Colorado native launched himself into the conversation of potential first round picks in the upcoming MLB draft after an impressive sophomore season.

Dalbec led the Pac-12 with 15 homeruns while hitting .319 with 53 RBI and a .601 slugging percentage. The two-way threat went 3-7 on the mound with a 3.21 ERA and 5 saves in 61.2 innings pitched.
Baseball America ranked Dalbec as the No. 18 best draft prospect, after his sophomore campaign as well as his summer performance with Team USA and in the Cape Cod.

Arizona head coach Jay Johnson, who is in his first year at the helm of this Arizona squad, had some high praise for Dalbec at his press conference Wednesday.

“He’s a very talented player,” Johnson said. “I’ve probably only seen one player, being Kris Bryant, that has as much if not more power than he does.”

Look for Dalbec to be one of the best two-way players in college baseball during draft day.

Woodmansee is another player who could be on a big league roster one day. Woodmansee was awarded first team All-Pac-12 after hitting .280 with 55 RBI, 36 runs and a .418 slugging percentage.

Woodmansee was ranked the No. 59 best collegiate draft prospect by Baseball America.

Stanford’s Quantrill and Oregon’s Krook are both coming off Tommy John surgery, but are still considered potential first round picks. Quantrill was ranked the No. 14 best collegiate draft prospect, while Krook was ranked No. 9.

Both pitchers were drafted out of high school, more notably Krook, who was selected No. 35 overall in the 2013 draft by the Miami Marlins, but elected to attend Oregon instead.

It will be interesting to see how they bounce back from Tommy John after impressive freshmen campaigns two years ago. Both pitchers have been praised for their excellent talents, so if they can find a way to get back to their original form then Pac-12 hitters are in for a rude awakening.

The Pac-12 Conference is shaping out to be a difficult conference to play in yet again after five teams have been named in the preseason top 25 rankings.

Pac-12 baseball has made it known that high competition is a norm year-in and year-out, as shown through the elite number of players in the Conference of Champions.

The 2016 season should be a fun one to watch in the Pac-12 as several talented players will take the stage before embarking on their professional careers.

Follow Ross Olson on Twitter.

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