Five Aztecs Taken in MLB First-Year Player Draft

June 6, 2018

NEW YORK --  The San Diego State baseball team had five players taken in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, tying its largest draft class since 2014. Junior catcher Dean Nevarez (19th round, Seattle), junior first baseman Jordan Verdon (23rd round, Detroit), junior right-handed pitcher Garrett Hill (26th round, Detroit), senior infield David Hensley (26th round, Houston), and Chase Calabuig (27th round, Oakland) were all selected on Wednesday and increased SDSU's all-time MLB draft pick total to 215.

Nevarez was the first Aztec taken in the draft, being selected in the 19th round by the Seattle Mariners. A Mountain West All-Tournament team selection, Nevarez made 53 starts in 2018 with 49 starts behind the plate and finished third on the team with eight home runs. Nevarez capped his junior season with a .294/.378/.468 slash line.

After an impressive junior season, Verdon was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 23rd round. Verdon Finished his season with 27 doubles and 40 extra-base hits, both the most by an Aztec since 1984. Verdon, an All-Mountain West First Team selection, hit .333 with a team-best 12 home runs and 65 RBIs.

Hill was also taken by the Detroit Tigers, taken three rounds after Verdon in the 26th round. The 2018 Mountain West Co-Pitcher of the Year and a Mountain West All-Tournament team selection, Hill led SDSU with seven wins, 72 strikeouts and 78.1 innings pitched while posting a 3.91 earned run average over 16 appearances and 15 starts.

Hensley was picked up by the Houston Astros in the 26th round after serving as SDSU's starting shortstop in 2018. Hensley, who played every position but catcher over his four-year career with the Aztecs, was a 2017 All-Mountain West Second Team honoree and hit .317 with three home runs and 34 RBIs in 2018. 

A round later, Calabuig was picked up in the 27th round by the Oakland Athletics. Calabuig, who is the Aztec record holder in games played and sits fourth in career hits, capped his four-year career with Mountain West First Team honors after leading the team with a .350 batting average and a .421 on-base percentage.

The Aztecs finished the 2018 season with a record of 39-21, capturing its fifth Mountain West Championship in the last six years while also making an appearance at an NCAA Regional for the fifth time in the last six years.

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