BERKELEY – Continuing its tradition of developing professional ballplayers, Cal had four members of this year’s squad – junior shortstop/outfielder Derek Campbell, senior right-hander Trevor Hildenberger, junior left-hander Michael Theofanopoulos and senior left-hander Kyle Porter – selected during the final day of the 2014 Major League Amateur Draft.
Campbell, who was honorable mention All-Pac-12 this season after leading the Golden Bears with 14 doubles and seven home runs, was drafted in the 20th round by the Philadelphia Phillies after being picked in the 36th round last year by the Chicago Cubs. As a freshman, Campbell (who is a senior academically) came off the bench to replace an injured Tony Renda at second base during the Super Regional and CWS. He thrived in the spotlight, going 4-for-8 in the Super Regional wins over Dallas Baptist and went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the Omaha win over Texas A&M.
In 2013, Campbell got his leg broken playing at Houston only 11 games into the season. He was able to come back for the 2014 campaign, leading the team in doubles and tying Devon Rodriguez with a team-leading seven home runs (third in the Pac-12).
Senior closer Hildenberger, drafted in the 22nd round by the Minnesota Twins, was also named honorable mention All-Pac-12. He developed into one of the school’s top relievers the past two years after only seeing action in 11 games his first two seasons at Cal before switching to a side-arm delivery. In 2014, Hildenberger tied a school record for single-season saves with 10 (with Jesse Ingram in 2004), while also going 3-3 with a 2.86 ERA and recording 48 strikeouts with only 11 walks in 47.2 innings.
Theofanopoulos, picked in the 30th round by Minnesota, had 21 strikeouts in 23.1 innings this season, including recording a career-high nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings Feb. 23 versus Arkansas Pine Bluff at the Tiger Classic in Auburn, Ala.
Porter, a 31st round pick by the Miami Marlins, went 6-0 during his freshman year in 2011, earning Freshman All-America honors after giving the Bears their first CWS series win since 1980 when he defeated Texas A&M, 7-3, in Omaha. He had also given Cal a win over Baylor in the Houston Regional.
Due to a series of nagging injuries, Porter struggled to regain his freshman form in 2012 and 2013, but came back this season to pick up six more wins, including defeating Cal Poly on the road, striking out 11 batters versus Utah and shutting out Oregon on two hits in Eugene. He concluded his Bear career with 15 wins.
Campbell, Hildenberger, Theofanopoulos and Porter are now among 71 Cal baseball players drafted since David Esquer became the Bears’ head coach in 2000. Among that list are four first round picks (Conor Jackson in 2003, Brandon Morrow in 2006, David Cooper in 2008 and Brett Jackson in 2009) and eight second round selections.