Record 8 Wavers Taken In 2014 MLB Draft

June 6, 2014

Eight former Blue Wave team players were taken in the 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft last weekend (June 7-8) to beat last year’s (2013) record of seven players taken in one MLB draft.

“We are very proud of each of the players that were taken in the draft this year that, at one time, played for our organization,” Blue Wave President Steve Kruse stated. “Every one of these players have worked very hard over the years and should be congratulated for this achievement and milestone in their baseball careers.”

Wyatt Strahan was the first former Waver taken in the draft this year when the Cincinnati Reds selected the 6-3 RHP USC Junior as the 94th pick in the 3RD round. Strahan played for several seasons and several Blue Wave coaches, most notably Aron Garcia.

According to the MLB scouting report:

“Strahan has been effective throughout his career at Southern Cal, first as a freshman reliever in 2012, then as the team's Saturday starter in 2013. As USC's Friday starter this year, he started to pour it on and boost his Draft stock as the spring progressed. With a big, strong, durable frame, Strahan looks well built to eat up a lot of innings in the future. He's added velocity and touches the mid-90s somewhat consistently with a fastball that also features a good amount of sink. His hard curve has the chance to be an out pitch, and he shows good deception and sink with his changeup at times as well. He gets praise for his mound presence, though he does need to improve his control in the future. Strahan isn't among the first college arms that will be called during the Draft's early rounds, but the strong right-hander has the chance to be a nice find in the next tier of advanced arms.”

Strahan was not the only former Blue Wave pitcher to be taken in 2014, seven of the eight draftees will be working the mound for various MLB clubs, including Reed Reilly, a Cal Poly an Luis Obispo Senior, taken in the 7th round (224 overall) by the Boston Red Sox.

According to the MLB scouting report:

“Reilly tied a Cal Poly record for saves as a redshirt sophomore in 2013, and though he was drafted by the Orioles in the 18th round, he opted to return for his junior season. It's looking like it was a wise decision on his part. Serving as his school's closer again in 2014, Reilly has been a dominant force out of the bullpen. He can dial up his fastball to 95 mph when he needs it, sitting at 92-93 mph and throwing the heater with sink and a good amount of deception. His secondary stuff, a slider and a changeup that has plus sink, show flashes of being average, but he makes up for it with outstanding fastball command. Reilly may not have the stuff to close at the highest level, but he's a high-performing college reliever with a solid three-pitch mix for a very good program. All of that adds up to hearing his name called in the fairly early stages of the Draft.”

Reilly played for JSerra Coach Brett Kay when Kay coached a Blue Wave team over a three year span that was fairly dominate in the 12U, 13U, and 14U age divisions. In fact, two other players from “Kay’s Kids” have already been drafted - Austin Hedges, Padres, 2nd Round 82nd overall pick in 2011 and Andrew Thurman, 1st pick in 2nd round (40 pick overall) by the Huston Astros in the 2013 draft.

While any club would be fortunate to have three players from the same team get drafted by the pros, Kay can and two more to his credit (for a total of five)with the drafting of Grahamm Wiest (SR RHP Cal State Fullerton) in the 14th round (413 pick overall) by the Colorado Rockies and Lee “Bird” Casas, a 6-7 USC Senior RHP taken in the 28th round (842 overall) by the New York Yankees.

“It is truly amazing to see that many kids from one team and coach that guided them through their formative years end up in the pros,” Kruse noted. “And I would not be surprised to see one or two more from Kay’s Blue Wave teams make it to the professional ranks as well.”

Besides Kay’s former players, other Blue Wave players drafted in 2014 include:

•    6-6 Fresno State junior Garrett Mundell (18th round, 540th overall) by Arizona Diamondbacks.

•    6-2 Long Beach State Senior Shortstop Michael Hill (22 round, 663 overall) by the Kansas City Royals.

•    6-2 OCC LHP Jacob Hill (40th round, 1204 overall) by the Washington Nationals (brother of Michael Hill).

•    6-4 LHP Brea Olinda HS senior Cameron Bishop (32nd round/960 overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bishop, who is committed to UCI, is the only high school player out of the 2014 Blue Wave draftees and played for Coach Rich Pohle the past two years, anchoring the Blue Wave 2013 Under Armour Southwest Championship team.

According to the MLB scouting report:  

"Every Draft class has a fair share of prospects who make a name for themselves the spring of their Draft year. Bishop is a prime example of a "pop up" guy from the Southern California high school ranks. The big lefty, who is committed to UC Irvine, had scouts running to Brea Olinda a little later than usual thanks to some sharper stuff. Bishop was clocked up to 95 mph with his fastball, up a few ticks from his past readings. His secondary stuff, while improved, still doesn't match his arm strength and his fastball. But Bishop shows some feel for his changeup, and there is some projection to his breaking ball. His stuff plays up a bit because of some deception, though there is a little bit of effort in his delivery. Bishop might be a bit of a project, but this kind of arm strength from the left side is bound to intrigue many teams, especially considering how the big southpaw continued to impress most of the spring."