SIGNAL PEAK – Three current Central Arizona College players, including Florence High School graduate Mat Olsen, were among the 612 selections in this week’s Major League Baseball draft.
Olsen, a right-handed pitcher, was taken in the ninth round (266th overall) by the San Francisco Giants. Also picked in the ninth round (275th overall) was Casa Grande Union graduate Gil Luna, a left-handed pitcher from the University of Arizona who was chosen by the Chicago White Sox.
Second baseman Dayton Dooney was the highest draft selection from CAC, going to the Kansas City Royals in the sixth round (169th overall). The Detroit Tigers took outfielder JD McLaughlin in the 20th and final round with the 585th pick.
A total of 169 players have been drafted directly out of CAC since 1972, with a high of 12 in 1977.
Former CAC players Ky Bush, Liam Spence and Brett Harris had their names called on the second day of the three-day draft in Denver, which concluded Tuesday. Bush, a left-handed pitcher from St. Mary’s, went to the Los Angeles Angels in the second round at No. 45 overall. Spence, a shortstop from Tennessee, was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round at No. 154 overall. The Oakland A’s took Brett Harris, a third baseman from Gonzaga, in the seventh round at No. 218 overall.
The signing deadline for draftees is Aug. 1.
Olsen (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) was an NJCAA first-team All-America selection and NJCAA Gold Glove winner in 2021. He went 13-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 18 appearances (16 starts), striking out 133 and walking 30 in 88 2/3 innings. Olsen’s signing bonus slot value is $155,300, according to mlb.com.
Dooney (6-0, 190) batted .376 with 57 RBIs and 34 extra-base hits (21 doubles, four triples, nine home runs) for the Vaqueros. His slot value is $299,000.
McLaughlin (6-3, 195) was named to the All-America second team. He batted .338 and led the team in RBIs (62), home runs (13) and triples (10).
Bush (6-6, 240) went 7-5 with a 2.99 ERA, 112 strikeouts and 19 walks in 78 1/3 innings for the Gaels in 2021. His slot value is $1.65 million.
Spence (6-1, 190) batted .336 with five home runs and 36 RBIs for the Volunteers in 2021. His slot value is $343,400.
Harris (6-3, 208) batted .355 with five homers in 43 RBIs for the Bulldogs this season and has a slot value of $200,100.
Luna (5-10, 173) went 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 14 relief appearances for the Wildcats, striking out 31 and walking 11 in 21 1/3 innings. His slot value is $152,000.
Left-hander Leo Palacios (6-4, 215) signed a free-agent contract with Kansas City following the draft, CAC coach Anthony Gilich said. Palacios went 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 12 games (one start) for the Vaqueros, striking out 41 and walking 16 in 21 2/3 innings.
Each MLB team can sign up to 10 non-drafted free agents.
Gilich said CAC right-hander Tyler Woessner (6-4, 225) and former Vaquero Zach Hogueisson (6-3, 215) of Tennessee Wesleyan are potential free-agent signees.
Woessner went 8-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 17 games (13 starts). He struck out 81 and walked 33 in 70 1/3 innings. Hogueisson, an outfielder, batted .354 with 22 homers. His 92 RBIs ranked second in the NAIA.