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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Former UA baseball players are having success at the next level

Devin Wilber for the Daily Wildcat

Arizona pitcher Bobby Dalbec (3) pitches against Oklahoma State during the College World Series on Monday, June 20 in Omaha, Nebraska. Dalbec was drafted in the fourth round by the Boston Red Sox in the 2016 MLB draft.

Before falling to Coastal Carolina in the College World Series final in late June, the Arizona Wildcats baseball team saw six players get selected in the 2016 MLB draft earlier that month. All six players went on to sign contracts with their respective teams. Here’s a look at how they’ve performed in professional baseball up to this point.

Bobby Dalbec

The highest selected Wildcat, as expected, was third basemen and pitcher Bobby Dalbec, who was snagged in the fourth round by the Boston Red Sox. Despite having a down year with the bat, Dalbec played a critical role for the Wildcats both on the mound and at the plate during their remarkable postseason run.

Over the course of three starts between super regionals and the CWS, Dalbec allowed three runs in 23.1 innings of work while striking out 24. While pitching could be a fallback option for Dalbec if his bat never pans out in pro ball, he was drafted as a third basemen because of his above-average defense and big-time power potential.

Dalbec has already shown flashes of his high offensive ceiling with the short-season Class-A Lowell Spinners in the New York-Pennsylvania League. In 34 games, Dalbec is hitting .386/.427/.674 with seven home runs, 33 RBIs and an on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.101. In fact, Dalbec’s play in the month of August earned him Player of the Month honors in the New York-Penn League.

Zach Gibbons, Cody Ramer

The next two highest drafted Wildcats, outfielder Zach Gibbons and infielder Cody Ramer, were both drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 17th and 19th round, respectively.

The duo made up one of the best 1-2 hitter combinations in the country last year and served as the team’s heart and soul for much of the season. It was ironic that Gibbons, who hit behind Ramer in the lineup, led the team with a .385 batting average while Ramer finished second after hitting .348.

The transition to pro ball has been a nonissue for the tandem, as they have picked up right where they left off for the Orem Owlz, the Angels’ rookie-league affiliate.

In 17 games for Orem, Ramer is hitting .347/.383/.480 with one home run, five doubles, 10 RBIs and four stolen bases. Gibbons has hit .340/.434/.500 with five home runs, 28 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and a .934 on-base plus slugging percentage. Much like Dalbec, Gibbons’ performance has been recognized, as he was named to the Pioneer League end-of-season All-Star team.

Kevin Ginkel, Nathan Bannister

The next two Wildcats selected were both right-handed pitchers. Kevin Ginkel went in the 22nd round to the Arizona Diamondbacks while Nathan Bannister was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 28th round.

Ginkel, who served as a long reliever and spot starter for UA, has appeared in 18 games for the short-season Hillsboro Hops, and has gone 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while tallying 22 strikeouts.

While Bannister has yet to pitch professionally after injuring his arm in the CWS, he had a brilliant season for UA as its Friday night starter. The right-hander went 12-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 142.1 innings.

Ryan Aguilar

The last Wildcat to hear his name called was first basemen Ryan Aguilar, who had to wait until the 31st round for the Milwaukee Brewers to snag him.

Aguilar was one of the most consistent forces in the middle of the order for the Wildcats, as he hit .310 with a team-high eight home runs, 58 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. In 39 games for the rookie-level Helena Brewers, Aguilar has hit .254/.376/.373 with two home runs, 14 RBIs, 11 doubles and six stolen bases.

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