BERKELEY - On Jan. 24, several Golden Bears, who are playing professional baseball and getting ready for Spring Training, came back to campus to work out at Evans Diamond. During their workout, they stopped to talk to current Cal squad about their experiences playing in the Major and Minor Leagues, how they benefited from playing for coach David Esquer and getting an education at the University of California, as well as the opportunity they had to form lasting bonds with their Cal teammates.
Since David Esquer became Cal coach in 2000, 67 of his players have been drafted and signed professional contracts. Esquer has coached four first-round draft picks, including right-hander Brandon Morrow, who in 2006 became the highest draft pick in school history when he was the fifth pick overall by the Seattle Mariners. Esquer also helped develop center fielder Brett Jackson, a first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2009; first baseman David Cooper, a first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008; and third baseman Conor Jackson, who in 2003 was drafted in the first round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.