June 7, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - 30 teams selected more than 1500 players over 50 rounds including nine Cal State Fullerton players led by junior shortstop Blake Davis, who topped the Titan selections in the 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 6 and 7.
Davis, a 2005 US National Team member, was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth round (the 115th overall pick) and was the highest draft pick of any Titan this season. The shortstop is hitting a conference-leading .372 with four home runs and 38 RBI going into this weekend's Super Regional at Goodwin Field.
Justin Turner was the second Fullerton star to get picked up, a seventh round selection by the Cincinnati Reds (204th overall). "Red" was the Big West Conference's Co-Player of the Year with first-round draft pick Evan Longoria (Long Beach State), hitting .354 with four homers and 39 RBI. The second baseman is leading the conference in hits with 91 and is fifth overall in stolen bases with 19.
Junior first baseman Brett Pill was also taken in the seventh round, just two picks behind Turner. He was selected by the San Francisco Giants and was the 206th overall pick. Pill has played brilliant defense at first base, and posted a .327 batting average with 5 homers and a team-leading 39 RBI from the three-hole in the lineup.
Pitchers Lauren Gagnier (292nd overall) and Ryan Paul (296th overall) were selected in the 10th round by Detriot and San Francisco, respectively. Gagnier has been among the nation's leaders in wins in his first year as a full time starter, posting a 13-4 record and a 2.51 ERA. His 13 wins has him in second place in the country.. Paul, a junior lefty, has a 1.26 ERA out of the bullpen of the nation's top pitching staff (2.62 ERA). The southpaw has posted a 2-1 record in 28 2/3 innings of work, holding hitters to just a .175 batting average.
Outfielder Brandon Tripp rounded out the first day of the draft for Fullerton getting picked up by the Orioles in the 12th round (355th overall). The center/right fielder is hitting .327 with a team-leading nine home runs, driving in 38 along the way.
Day two saw a trio of Titans get nabbed by Cleveland, Los Angeles (Angels), and Cincinnati. The Indians selected Vinnie Pestano in the 20th round (611 overall) as he has posted a 2-1 record with 13 saves and a 0.97 ERA in 37 innings. Catcher John Curtis was scooped-up by the Angels in the 24th round (732 overall) as he has hit a career-best .263 with five doubles and 22 RBI. Left fielder Danny Dorn concluded the day for the Titans being selected in the 32nd round by the Reds. The smooth-swinging left fielder has hit .331 with four home runs and 37 RBI in this his fourth year of his Fullerton career.
Seven Times in the programs history have the Titans had nine-or-more selections in the amateur draft. Last year's 14 players was a school record and included the team's tenth No. 1 draft pick in pitcher Ricky Romero (Toronto).
The Big West Conference Champion Titans led all the conference schools with nine players, and were among 34 players in the league that were taken.
The Titans have just two games to win before making their 14th trip to Omaha in search of the school's fifth national title. The No. 5 nationally seeded Titans will face Missouri in the Super Regional this weekend at Goodwin Field in a best-two-out-of-three for a trip to Nebraska.