RIVERSIDE, Calif. – In the history of California Baptist University baseball, 22 Lancers have had their names called on draft day. A new batch of Lancers now wait to see if their names will be called during the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft this week.
Trevor Oaks, Caleb Dirks and Blair Moore have all drawn interest and seen their fair share of MLB scouts this season. Their professional hopes rest heavily on the MLB Draft, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m. ET with the top 74 picks, broadcast live on MLB.com and the MLB Network. The rest of the picks will be made Friday through Saturday, with the second and third days kicking off at 12:30 p.m. ET, as all the action unfolds live at MLB.com.
The trio of Oaks, Dirks and Moore played a key role in the Lancers qualifying for the NCAA playoffs in their first year as a fully-fledged Division II member. Oaks and Dirks served as vital starting and closer pitchers, respectively, for the Lancers, who had a strong bat and glove at third base from Moore.
"We are extremely excited about the possibility for some of our 2014 players potentially getting a chance to play professionally,” head coach Gary Adcock said. “To even be in that conversation is an honor in and among itself."
If a Lancer is selected in the MLB draft this week, it will extend CBU's streak of seeing a player drafted to five. Multiple Lancers were taken in the 2013 (two), 2011 (four), 2006 (two), 1991 (two) and 1982 (three) drafts, with a total of 11 players taken under Adcock's 10-year tenure.
The sophomore pitcher, Oaks, is projected to be the highest MLB draft pick in CBU history, as he's labeled a top-200 prospect on MLB.com's 2014 Prospect Watch. Glenn Barling currently stands as the Lancers highest overall pick after being taken in the 11th round at 269 overall in 1981.
Oaks was also featured in an MLB.com Draft Report video after putting together one of the best seasons among Division II pitchers, as he was named one of eight finalists for the Brett Tomko award this past year. At the end of the year, Oaks received three Division II All-American awards from the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association, Daktronics and American Baseball Coaches Association. He was also named the Pitcher of the Year in the NCBWA, ABCA Division II West Regions and in the PacWest, while also being named the conference's Newcomer of the Year.
Statistically, Oaks went 11-0 with three complete games and two shutouts in 15 starts and 107 innings pitched. He recorded a 1.68 earned-run average and struck out 107 batters to just 31 walks, while not allowing a triple or homer this season. The right-hander held opposing teams to a .198 batting average (75-for-378). He ranked eighth and 12th in Division II when it came to strikeouts and wins, while his ERA sits at 18th.
Dirks was the Lancers' go-to arm out of the bullpen, as he cemented himself as the team's full-time closer early on in the year. The hard-throwing right hander finished the season with a 2.85 ERA, 4-1 record and eight saves in a team-high 23 appearances among pitchers. The junior averaged more than a strikeout an inning with 52 punch outs in 41 innings before being named an All-PacWest second-teamer.
The lone senior among the group, Moore, is a three-time All-PacWest pick who hit .340 (197-for-579) in his three-year Lancer career. Overall, he slugged .510 with a .400 on-base percentage at the plate at CBU. In 2014, he batted .294 (58-for-197) with 48 runs, 40 runs batted in, 10 doubles and three home runs. He also showcased his speed in his senior season by stealing a career-best eight bases in nine chances.
In 2013, Moore had a career year at the plate. He batted .368 (75-for-204), slugged .598, 20 doubles and nine home runs, while posting a .965 fielding percentage. He was named an All-American and made two all-region teams that season.
"The lure of professional baseball is an integral part of the success of our program at CBU," Adcock said. "The development of their skill set while at CBU has led to many players being given a chance to pursue their professional dream. Current and future players see that and begin to understand that they too may be able to achieve such a tremendous opportunity by committing to the CBU baseball philosophies."