We are five months away from one of Major League Baseball’s biggest days, the First Year Amateur Draft, where the pros load up minor league rosters with those they believe will become stars of their sport one day. An Elk Grove name is once again on that prospect list as compiled annually by the publication “Baseball America.”
It’s Elk Grove High School graduate Nick Madrigal. Last season, his sophomore year at Oregon State University, Madrigal led the Beavers to a 56-6 season and a Pac-12 championship. He was that conference’s player of the year, too.
Now, the pro scouts think he’ll be some franchise’s first-round draft choice come June. “Baseball America” has Madrigal number seven in its list of the 2018 Top 200 MLB Draft Prospects, released Jan. 12.
If that is the case, Madrigal would follow former EGHS teammates Dylan Carlson and Derek Hill onto the very short list of locals who were selected in the first round of the MLB draft. The St. Louis Cardinals selected Carlson in 2016, while Hill was take number one in 2014 by the Detroit Tigers.
Also taken in that first round in 2016 was Sheldon right-handed pitcher Matt Manning. “Baseball America” recently predicted Manning could show up on the Tigers’ roster in Detroit this summer and, in its 2021 prospective roster, he would be a starting pitcher in the Tigers’ rotation.
Herd wrestlers finish third at Tim Brown
One of the biggest local wrestling tournaments annually is the Tim Brown Memorial, held inside Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento. Eight to ten mats are squared into the historical auditorium as the floor is raised to level in this unique venue.
Four Elk Grove High School grapplers wrestled for the championship in their respective weights and all of them finished second. There were Peter Ming (170), Carson Gause (160), Kendall Frank (138) and Lokahi Tonge (132). Nahele Tonge was third at 145 pounds and Hassan Khan grabbed third at 152 pounds. At 195, John Gblah placed seventh.
Other locals who did well were Nicholas Mraz of Bradshaw Christian (8th at 145 pounds), Andrew Calvert of Franklin (6th at 106 pounds), and Edison Alanis of Franklin (3rd at 120 pounds).
In the team standings, Spanish Springs of Nevada won the event with 228 points followed by Oak Ridge with 201 points. Elk Grove placed third with 190.5 points.
Tough times at CRC
De’Rajaee Austin lead Cosumnes River College in scoring with a 13.6 points per game average. He played his high school basketball at Monterey Trail.
It was a rough week at Cosumnes River College’s Clark Court. Both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams went 0-3, all Big 8 Conference games.
The men thought they had a win in the pocket in Saturday afternoon’s matinee game with Modesto Junior College. The Hawks were up by 11 early in the second half, only to watch that lead dwindle.
The Pirates chipped away at it and eventually CRC’s turnovers and missed opportunities handed Modesto a 69-66 win. De’Rajaee Austin from Monterey Trail High School led CRC with 17 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Earlier in the week the Hawks dropped a 72-62 decision at Santa Rosa J.C. and Tuesday lost to rival Sacramento City College, 84-70. In that game the Hawks led much of the first half and Austin had another big night with 26 points.
“At the start of the second half we were up 10 and I think my guys felt satisfied,” Hawks head coach Jonathan James said. “(SCC) came out hard the second half, they took their best shots and we didn’t respond to it. They were stripped of their confidence.”
James said this year’s Hawks, now 6-11 overall, “can punch but can’t take a punch.”
The former CRC and Valley High School player, who is now in his second season at CRC, claims he isn’t concerned.
“I’m not concerned at all,” he said. “I know my guys can play at a higher level. We’ve played some really good teams. In our conference, any team, any given night, can take a loss.”
What has really hit the Hawks – both the men and the women- this season is academic eligibility. CRC lost its top scorer, James Gill, to grades a couple weeks back. The women played much of last week with just six players on the court. The other half of the roster was sitting because of grades.
In the JC’s most of the players are fresh out of high school and in the first semester ever in college and the culture shock can be negative.
The women’s team entered this week 1-13 overall and head coach Coral Sage just coming off maternity leave. Sage got leading rebounder Quoquese Jackson back in the lineup on Saturday so the Hawks could finish much better.
Cole trade may help EG’s Davis
The big trade last week in the MLB was the World Champion Houston Astros acquiring another good arm in their starting rotation in Gerrit Cole. A player Houston sent to Pittsburgh in the trade was third baseman Colin Moran, who played much of the season at Triple-A Fresno.
Now that he’s gone to the Pirates the dugout in Houston is a little bit cleaner for Elk Grove High School graduate J.D. Davis. He spent the final two months of the season with the Astros in their stretch drive, playing sporadically.
With Alex Bregman the starter for Houston at third and Moran now gone, it’s more and more likely he’ll be etched into the Astros’ 25-man roster come Opening Day.
Don’t be surprised if Davis is in the lineup as the team’s designated hitter during spring training.
And, by the way, another ex-Elk Grove baseball standout, pitcher David Hernandez, remains a free agent. He split time last season with the Angels and the Diamondbacks.