Riverside baseball curves two players into the MLB Draft

Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER
Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER

During the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, pitchers Trevor Frank and Jacob Smigelski saw their hard work in blue and gold pay off as they both were drafted by MLB teams.

Trevor Frank was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the eighth round. Frank was a starter most of his time at UCR before moving to closer his senior year. As a starter his first three years, he had a record of 7-14 with 126 strikeouts in 213 innings. This past season, however, he had a 4-2 record with a 2.45 ERA, 10 saves, 44 strikeouts, and only nine walks in 44 innings. The 10 saves were the third most in the Big West this past season. At one juncture in the season, he pitched 22.2 innings without an earned run.

Jacob Smigelski was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in round 39. Jacob’s season last year was cut short by a forearm injury. Before he was injured, the 6-foot-3-inch starter was 1-1 with a 6.03 ERA, striking out 23 while just walking six in 31.1 innings. His best start as a Highlander came in a 2-0 loss at Portland when he gave up just five hits in seven innings while also striking out six different players. This was his first year at Riverside with pitching stops at LMU and Rio Hondo Community College in his first two years respectively. The Glendora, Calif. product threw his first collegiate pitch at LMU where he played in 14 games with an 0-2 mark and a 7.71 ERA. Smigelski next spent a year at Rio Hondo where he posted a 1.64 ERA in 24 appearances.

Neither players have been signed as of yet, which means that despite being drafted, they have no official ties to the team. Therefore the duo might not be playing for their respective ball clubs in any capacity next season. If this remains the case, Smigelski will more than likely return to the Highlanders for his senior season, with hopes of being drafted again this coming year. Frank, who was named to the Big West Conference All-Conference Second Team, will be playing for the Indians’ Class A short season affiliate, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in Northeastern Ohio as a developing starter, according to the Press Enterprise.

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