Program Record 12 Trojans Drafted After Nine Taken on Day Three of the 2016 MLB Draft|
June 11, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- Nine Trojans were drafted on the third and final day of the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft, bringing the total to 12 drafted Trojans this year, the most in program history since the current draft format was adopted in 1980.
Six pitchers and three outfielders were selected by eight different teams on Saturday. They join Jeremy Martinez, Brooks Kriske and Bernardo Flores, who were drafted on day two by the Cardinals (4th round), Yankees (6th round) and White Sox (7th round), respectively.
The old record was 1998, when 11 Trojans were drafted off the national championship squad.
Senior right-handed pitcher Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) was the first Trojan off the board on day three as the Seattle Mariners drafted him in the 14th round, 417th overall pick. A four-year contributor and a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree, Davis moved from the pen to everyday starter and ace over the last two seasons. In his four-year career he boasts a 3.79 ERA, appearing in 82 games with 20 starts. He is 15-19 with 16 career saves.
Another senior right-hander went next, as Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS) was taken by the Miami Marlins in the 17th round (503rd overall). Another four-year contributor, he has appeared in 70 career games, starting 36 of those. In 2016 he started five of his 14 appearances, throwing 34.1 innings with 37 strikeouts. He finished with a 6.03 ERA and an 0-2 record.
The 2016 Pac-12 Batting Champion and First Team All-Pac-12 honoree David Oppenheim (Mercer Island, Wash./College of the Canyons) was the next Trojan off the board in the 18th round (546th overall) to the Los Angeles Angels. The senior batted an impressive .387 to lead the team and the conference in 2016. He also showed some pop with four home runs. Spending most of the season as the Trojans' No. 2 hitter, Oppenheim drove in 25 runs and scored 37. He boasts an impressive team-high .500 on-base percentage with a team-high 39 walks drawn. It was Oppenheim's first time being drafted.
Next was another senior arm, this time from the left side in left-handed pitcher Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) who was taken in the 18th round (554th pick overall) by the Chicago Cubs. The deceptive lefty came on strong in the second half of the season, earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors while tallying a team-low 1.94 ERA. He tied fellow reliever Brooks Kriske for the most appearances with 26. Through 41.2 innings he struck out 45 batters with three saves and a 2-1 record. Opponents were hitting just .188 against him. This is the first time in his career that he has been drafted.
Another Trojan lefthander went off the board next, as junior Andrew Wright (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) was taken in the 21st round (pick 618) by the Cincinnati Reds. Wright appeared in 11 games for the Trojans in 2016, throwing 14.1 total innings and finished 1-0. He was particularly effective against lefthanded hitters. This is the first time in Wright's career that he has been drafted.
Redshirt junior Joe Navilhon (Brentwood, Calif./Chabot College) went next, selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 21st round as the 625th overall pick. The ultimate competitor, Navilhon more seamlessly from the bullpen to Friday night starter in 2016, his first year with the Trojans. He led the team with 82.2 innings pitched, starting 11 of the 20 games he appeared in. He finished 5-5 with the lowest ERA of any Trojan starter (3.38). He struck out 71 batters and walked just 24. This is the first time Navilhon has been drafted in his career.
Senior outfielder Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) was taken next in the 21st round as the 638th overall pick by the New York Yankees. A four-year starter as the Trojans centerfielder, Robinson is highly athletic and can do a little bit of everything. A 2015 All-Pac-12 honoree, he finished the 2016 season batting .282, starting all 56 games. He drove in a team-high 46 RBIs and finished second on the team with eight home runs. He was also tied for the team lead in doubles with 18. This is the first time Robinson has been drafted.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) was the next Trojan off the board, the 22nd round selection (671 pick) of the hometown Los Angeles Dodgers. A reliever for the Trojans, Paschke was second on the team with 25 relief appearances. He tallied four saves (second-best on the team) and a 3-2 record with a 4.25 ERA through 29.2 innings pitched. He also struck out 28 batters on the year. This is the first time in Paschke's career that he has been drafted.
Junior outfielder Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) was the final draft pick of the day for the Trojans, going in the 37th round (1118th overall) to the Yankees. Dempster became the third Trojan drafted by the Yankees in 2016, joining 6th rounder Brooks Kriske and 21st round selection Robinson. In his first season as an everyday starter, Dempster batted .290, appearing in 49 games, starting 41 of those, mostly in left field. He drove in 24 RBI as the Trojans' leadoff man and showed some pop, knocking out six home runs, tying him for third on the team. He also had 11 doubles and two triples. This is the first time Dempster has been drafted in his career.
Wright, Navilhon, Paschke and Dempster each have eligibility remaining and could elect to forgo the professional contract to come back to school.
After today's nine selections, the Trojans have had 328 players drafted since the draft's inception in 1965.