Cal Baseball: Vaughn Golden Spikes Finalist, 4 Bears Drafted

BERKELEY, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Fans of the California Golden Bears
BERKELEY, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Fans of the California Golden Bears /

As Andrew Vaughn is named a finalist for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award, four of his Cal baseball teammates were selected in the MLB draft.

Cal baseball’s first baseman Andrew Vaughn is a finalist for the most prestigious amateur baseball award in the country. He is one of the last remaining players in the hunt for the Golden Spikes Award.

A year after being named the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year, Vaughn elevated to the conference’s Player of the Year. He led the conference in average (.402), on-base percentage (.531), and slugging percentage (.819). His 23 home runs ranked second in the Pac-12, and tied the school’s record for home runs in a single season (Xavier Nady also hit 23 in 1999).

Vaughn is the second Golden Bear to ever be named a finalist for the award, joining Lance Blankenship in 1984. Arizona State center fielder Oddibe McDowell won that year.

Vaughn is one of four finalists, along with three college juniors who were taken high in the MLB amateur draft. Joining Vaughn is first overall pick Casey Mize, a right-hander from Auburn that is now a Detroit Tiger. Brady Singer, the right-hander from Florida whom the Kansas City Royals picked 18th overall, is also a finalist. The fourth finalist is Kody Clemens, a second baseman from Texas who was the 79th pick (third round), also by the Tigers. Clemens is the son of former big league superstar Roger Clemens.

To vote for Vaughn, click here.

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Four Golden Bears were picked in the MLB draft this season. The first was Tanner Dodson, who was a competitive balance round B selection (71st overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays. Dodson was a two-way player for Cal, acting as the team’s center fielder and their closer. Though Dodson is projected to end up as a pitcher exclusively, Keith Law reports that the Rays will give him the opportunity to play on both sides.

As a hitter, the 6’2”, 180-pound Dodson hit .320 as a junior with 12 doubles. Unsurprisingly, he racked up 10 outfield assists en route to being named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. On the mound, he recorded 11 saves (a school record) to go with a 2.47 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 40 innings. Dodson’s fastball has been clocked at 98 mph.

The next Bear drafted came in the fourth round, with the Pittsburgh Pirates making righty Aaron Shortridge the 114th overall pick. The 6’3”, 196-pound Shortridge threw to a 2.77 ERA in 2018, striking out 74 batters while walking 14 in 91 innings. He was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the season’s final week after throwing his third complete game, and first shutout, against Arizona State.

In the 15th round, the Pirates picked another Golden Bear, this time selecting center fielder Jonah Davis with the 444th pick. Davis, who also played corner outfield, hit .321 in 54 games with 14 home runs and 58 runs batted in, and added six stolen bases. He was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on February 27th.

The final Cal pick came in the 20th round. Another right-hander pitcher was selected, with Joey Matulovich going as the 605th overall pick to the Milwaukee Brewers. In 19 appearances (five starts) in 2018, he pitched to a 3.47 ERA and .233 opponent average. Matulovich struck out 45 batters in 46.2 innings pitched.

Next: Downs, Looney Both 7th Round Picks

Best of luck to Andrew Vaughn in the Golden Spikes race, and to all the Bears who are moving on to the pro ranks!