Daulton Jefferies won’t be hosting any grand draft-day celebrations.
“I don’t really like big [gatherings],” explained Jefferies, who is one of the premier local prospects for this year’s MLB draft which runs June 9 to June 11. “I don’t like attracting too much attention to myself. I’m a huge introvert. So, I like small things with just a couple family [members] and friends.”
Cal’s ace, who made the watchlist for the Golden Spikes Award — given to the top amateur player in the nation — was a lock to go in the first round at the outset of the season.
That was before a strained muscle in his right shoulder interrupted his and his team’s 2016 campaign.
“As far as the injury goes, it was extremely frustrating,” admitted Jefferies who made just six starts before hitting the shelf at the end of March. “It was probably one of the worst experiences of my life — having to go to the field everyday and not be able to contribute at all.”
The 6-foot right-hander returned on May 23 to throw three no-hit frames against Utah, providing a boost not just to a Cal team scrambling to make the NCAA Regionals for the second year in a row but also to his draft stock.
“When healthy, oh, he’s a first-round draft choice talent,” said head coach David Esquer, who expects as many as six Golden Bears to get drafted. “He has a fastball that’s up to 94 miles per hour. He’s got a put-away pitch that’s a slider and a good changeup to left-handed hitters. He’s kind of the total package.”
Stanford ace eyes return
While Cal has been without its junior star for much of the season, Stanford hasn’t sent its frontline starter to the mound in 18 months.
“Cal Quantrill — our great pitcher — got hurt in the end of February last year and really was gone for a year and a half,” head coach Mark Marquess said of the 6-foot-3 right-hander who is in the final stages of Tommy John surgery recovery.
Quantrill isn’t back to 100 percent just yet, but he is healthy enough to audition for major league talent evaluators.
“The last month we’ve had scouting directors and general managers come watch him do his workout,” Marquess said. “And [during] the workouts in the bullpen, he’s throwing it 95 mph.”
Even if the long layoff makes Quantrill an enigma heading into the draft, Marquess has no doubts that the starter will be one of the first to hear his named called.
“He’s going to go in the first round,” Marquess said. “It’s just a matter of how high he’s going to go.”
USF catcher’s stock takes hit
Over on the Hilltop, the University of San Francisco doesn’t have any first-round talents on its roster, but the Dons do have a catcher with big league upside in junior Dominic Miroglio.
As was the case with Jefferies and Quantrill, an injury derailed Miroglio at just the wrong moment — as college players become draft eligible at the conclusion of their respective junior years.
The backstop appeared in just eight games for the Dons before breaking his right hand.
“He would have been drafted in the top five rounds as a catcher had he stayed healthy and played the season,” said head coach Nino Giarratano.
The winningest baseball skipper in school history, Giarratano has produced 43 draft picks in his 18 years at USF.
“I still think he’s going to go higher than anybody on our team,” Giarratano said. “But I don’t think he’s going to go high enough for him to leave school and go out to professional baseball.”
Miroglio, who played his high school ball at Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland has nearly worked his way back to full health.
“At first it was very tough, but there’s not enough time in the day to feel sorry for yourself,” Miroglio said. “So, after the first couple of days, it was all about moving on and getting better each day and finding new ways to get better.”
Next up for the right-handed hitter will be a summer stint playing in the Cape Cod League. His performance in the prestigious showcase circuit will go a long way in determining whether he returns to the Dons for his senior season or if he inks a contract with a MLB club before the July 15 signing deadline.
“Coach Giarratano been awesome with helping me through this process. For me, it’s just about getting better everyday, getting prepared to go play and the chips will fall where they fall,” Miroglio said. “And then I’ll be left with the decision, I have a lot of good options in front of me.”Bishop O’Dowd High Schoolcal baseballcal berkeleyCal Quantrillcape cod leaguecollege baseballCollege Sportsdaulton jefferiesdom mirogliokarl buscheckmark marquesspac 12 baseballstanford baseballUniversity of San Franciscousf baseballwcc baseball