Every year, there is an assortment of junior college and high school players mixed in with the four-year colleges during the Major League Baseball draft.
This year, one of the junior colleges right here in Arizona, was very involved.
Central Arizona College in Coolidge had ties with 11 of the college players drafted, as well as six high school seniors who will be playing for the Vaqueros next season. Randy Huggler, in an article for the Casa Grande Dispatch, dug out the players that have ties to CAC.
The 11 former CAC players taken in the 2010 draft are more than any other year in the history of the program.
At the top of the list is Josh Spence, Arizona State’s outstanding pitcher who was drafted in the ninth round. The right-hander was drafted in 2009 by the Angels, but returned to ASU, only to be sidelined the entire season with an elbow injury. While at CAC, Spence set the school record for wins, strikeouts, and ERA.
Spence’s teammate at ASU, Xorge Carrillo, was an All-Conference catcher at CAC. The junior was selected in the 23rd round by the Padres.
Some were plucked right off this season’s roster, including the Vaqueros’ two starting pitchers, Chris Joyce and Jake Dziubczynski, who went to the Detroit Tigers. Joyce is a left-hander that had a 2.36 ERA and a 12-3 season mark and was picked in the 29th round, while Dziubeczynski, 8-4 with a 2.59 ERA, went in the 38th round.
Keenyn Walker, an outfielder who went to the Phillies in the 38th round, and Marcus Bradley, who played at CAC in 2009 and is eligible to return in 2011, round out the active players.
The other former CAC players drafted include: Jason Mitchell, who pitched for Texas-Arlington the last two years (15th/Padres), AJ Schugel, an infielder who was drafter as a pitcher (25th/Angels), Ryan Honeycutt, an outfielder playing at the University of New Mexico (41st/Giants, and Kevin Gelinas, a pitcher at California-Santa Barbara (44th/Mets).
Mitchell worked the mound with Spence during the Vaqueros run to the Junior College World Series in 2008.
CAC beat the defending national champion Yavapai College to win the Region I championship this year, then went on to finish runner-up in the NJCAA Western Division.