MLB Drafts Six UCSB Gauchos, 16 Former Santa Barbara Foresters

Five Were Selected in the First Two Rounds

From left: Justin Campbell, Jace Jung, and Spencer Jones | Credit: Courtesy

The 2022 MLB Draft was a dream realized for many baseball prospects with Santa Barbara ties. In addition to the six Gauchos drafted this week, 16 former Santa Barbara Foresters were selected, including five in the first two rounds.

The 2020 Foresters team was the main source of the draftees, which started with the Detroit Tigers selecting Jace Jung of Texas Tech, who followed his brother Josh, also a former Foresters infielder, as a first-round pick. Spencer Jones of Vanderbilt, who spent the summer of 2019 and 2020 with the Foresters, was also selected in the first round.

Forester’s head coach Bill Pintard is a part of the Yankees organization so he was especially elated by Jones’ landing spot.

“It’s really special because Spencer Jones played here for two years,” Pintard said. “He played as a high school guy and then he played on the Covid team. For him to go No. 1 to the Yankees was really a thrill.” Pintard said all 16 of his former players called him with the news. “I told them I am proud to have contributed to their journey.”

Right-handed pitcher Justin Campbell out of Oklahoma State, who played with the Foresters in 2020, was selected with a supplemental pick immediately after round one by the Cleveland Guardians. In the second round, former Foresters Peyton Graham and Peyton Pallete were picked up by the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox, respectively.

In later rounds, San Marcos and SBCC product Ian Churchill went to the Toronto Blue Jays; Dos Pueblos graduate Isaac Coffey heads to the Red Sox; and Santa Barbara alum Derek True is going to the Oakland Athletics. True spent three years at Cal Poly where he developed as a relief pitcher.

Westmont catcher Simon Reid was drafted in the tenth round at pick number 315 overall. Reid is the second-highest drafted player in Westmont history and the only player who spent all four years at an NAIA school to be drafted this year.

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The Road to Wichita

The Foresters finished in first place in the California Collegiate League south and will now focus on defending its National Baseball Congress World Series title following a 2-1 victory over the San Luis Obispo Blues on Sunday July, 24.

The NBC World Series will be played July 28 — August 6, with Wichita, Kansas hosting the last six days of the event. The first four days will be played in Hutchinson, Kansas at Hobart-Detter Field.

Four pools of four teams each will compete over a six-day period, with the top two teams from each pool advancing to a single elimination bracket to determine a national champion

The Foresters finished the regular season with four victories in the final five games. It is yet to be seen if that momentum can lead to a third consecutive NBC World Series title.

UCSB Roster Coming into Focus

The 2022 MLB draft was heavy on college players and short on high school prospects in comparison to year’s past. For UCSB, that means they will very likely lose all six of their draftees, but it could also mean that all of the high school prospects currently committed will make it to campus rather than begin their professional career.

The lone UCSB commit drafted was 6-foot-6 shortstop Austin Charles, who was selected in round 20 by Kansas City.

The draft was older this year than usual as over 75 percent of the players drafted in the first ten rounds were coming from college.

“I think part of that is the reduction in minor leagues and no short season A-ball,” said UCSB coach Andrew Checketts. “I think there are more high school kids that are going to go to school and the pros are going to let us develop them or filter them, whichever view you have, of what happens in college.”

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