ALAMEDA — With the College World Series next weekend and the Major League Baseball first-year player draft taking place this week, the college baseball season is winding down. But for the majority of college ballplayers, their season is just about at the midpoint.
College players and graduating high school seniors from schools all over the country are reporting to their respective summer league teams. Like most of these teams, the San Francisco Seals will pack as many games into the summer as possible.
The Seals have 50 games scheduled through the beginning of August. They will play in tournaments in Arcata, Healdsburg and British Columbia, Canada, as well as travel to Las Vegas and Alaska for extended road trips.
They have gotten off to a quick start this season, going 5-3 over their first week of play before losing to the Menlo Park Legends 4-3 Thursday night at their home park at Alameda College. Shortstop Dakota Conners, who plays college ball at nearby Cal State East Bay, provided a single, a double and two runs scored in the loss.
At bats and innings pitched are the main draw for players when it comes to deciding where to play summer ball.
“They want to make sure they’re playing,” said Seals Baseball Vice President Isias Alcantar, referencing his team’s heavy schedule as a key recruiting tool.
Isias’ father, Abel Alcantar, is the team’s president and general manager. He founded the organization in 1985. After focusing efforts on high school age teams in the first two years of existence, the Seals fielded their first collegiate team in 1987. This summer marks the 30th season of Seals summer collegiate baseball.
It will be the first full season at College of Alameda for them, having previously called Laney College home.
Because of split-squad games, multiple doubleheaders and all of the travel, the Seals have 45 players on their roster. Among them is Xavier Freeman, who was second in the nation in home runs of all college players this year at Seminole State College in Oklahoma.
The two-and-a-half month season provides players ample opportunity for exposure. MLB teams use summer leagues as a regular part of their scouting process.
And you don’t need to go far from Alameda to find success stories of past Seals players either. Current Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien played for the team while attending UC Berkeley. Bay Area native and St. Louis Cardinals breakout star Stephen Piscotty also played for the Seals during his college days at Stanford.