BERKELEY – Twenty former Golden Bear baseball players, who all came under the tutelage of Cal head coach David Esquer, are in the thick of their minor league seasons this summer. A small sampling of the Bears excelling in their respective organization’s farm systems include first baseman Mark Canha, catcher Charlie Cutler, right-hander Joey Donofrio, second baseman Tony Renda and third baseman Mitch Delfino.
Canha (2008-10) is batting .309 with 17 home runs and an impressive 69 RBI for the Miami Marlins’ Triple A New Orleans Zephyrs. Cutler (2007-08) is hitting .310 with five home runs and 41 RBI for the Tennessee Smokies – the Double A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs. Donofrio, who lettered at Cal in 2012, is currently sporting a 3-3 record, nine saves and a 1.06 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 42.1 innings for the Springfield (Mo.) affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Renda and Delfino (2010-12), both member of the Bears’ 2011 College World Series squad, are performing well at the High Single A level. Second baseman Renda, the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year who was drafted in the second round by the Washington Nationals, is hitting .300 for the Potomac Nationals with 20 doubles, three triples and 43 RBI. Meanwhile, third baseman Delfino is thriving for the local San Jose Giants, batting .293 with 10 home runs and 68 RBI.
Included in the Bears’ minor league ranks are six players – first baseman David Cooper, third baseman Josh Satin, outfielder Brett Jackson, outfielder Jeff Kobernus, right-hander Erik Johnson and shortstop Marcus Semien – who have all seen action in the Major Leagues. Cooper (2007-08) is now in Triple A for the Cleveland Indians, batting .270 with six home runs and 23 RBI for the Columbus Clippers. Satin (2005-08) is hitting .292 with nine home runs and 43 RBI for the New York Mets’ Triple A affiliate Las Vegas 51s.
Jackson and Kobernus, who played for Esquer from 2007-09, have each seen time in the Major Leagues. Jackson, a first round draft pick, was just traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Arizona Diamonbacks after playing this summer for the Iowa Cubs (.210, five home runs, 20 RBI). Kobernus, a second round pick of the Washington Nationals, is hitting .250 with a home run and 17 RBI for the National’s Triple A Syracuse Chiefs.
Johnson and Semien, two more standouts from Cal’s 2011 College World Series squad, saw action with the Chicago White Sox at the end of the 2013 season and the beginning of the 2014 campaign. Both are now with the White Sox Triple A affiliate Charlotte Knights with Johnson sporting a 5-7 record with a 6.73 ERA and 63 strikeouts, and Semien hitting .244 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI.
Another Cal player who was a key performer during the Bears’ 2011 CWS run, Matt Flemer, is the workhorse of the Colorado Rockies High A affiliate Modesto Nuts. Right-hander Flemer is 10-9 with a 5.21 ERA and has an impressive 100 strikeouts in 133.0 innings.
A complete list of Cal’s minor leaguers and how they are performing at this point of the summer is listed below –
2014 Cal Minor Leaguers
Player Year Drafted Organization Level/Stats
David Cooper 2008 Cleveland Indians AAA/.270, 6 HR, 23 RBI for Columbus Clippers
Charlie Cutler 2008 Chicago Cubs AA/.310, 5 HR, 41 RBI for Tennessee Smokies
Josh Satin 2008 New York Mets AAA/.292, 9 HR, 43 RBI for Las Vegas 51s
Michael Brady 2009 Los Angeles Angels AAA/0-2, 2 SV, 7.01 ERA, 21 K’s for Salt Lake Bees
Brett Jackson 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks AAA/.210, 5 HR, 20 RBI for Iowa Cubs (just traded)
Jeff Kobernus 2009 Washington Nationals AAA/.250, HR, 17 RBI for Syracuse Chiefs
Blake Smith 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers AA/0-4, 2 SV, 4.18 ERA, 27 K’s for Chattanooga
Mark Canha 2010 Miami Marlins AAA/.309, 17 HR, 69 RBI for New Orleans Zephyrs
Erik Johnson 2011 Chicago White Sox AAA/5-7, 6.73 ERA, 63 K’s for Charlotte Knights
Marcus Semien 2011 Chicago White Sox AAA/.244, 10 HR, 41 RBI for Charlotte Knights
Mitch Delfino 2012 San Francisco Giants High A/.293, 10 HR, 68 RBI for San Jose Giants
Joey Donofrio 2012 St. Louis Cardinals AA/3-3, 9 SV, 1.06 ERA, 54 K’s for Springfield
Matt Flemer 2012 Colorado Rockies High A/10-9, 5.21 ERA, 100 K’s for Modesto Nuts
Danny Oh 2012 New York Yankees High A/.264, 17 RBI for Tampa Yankees
Tony Renda 2012 Washington Nationals High A/.300, 43 RBI for Potomac Nationals
Andrew Knapp 2013 Philadelphia Phillies A/.278, 4 HR, 21 RBI for Lakewood BlueClaws
Derek Campbell 2014 Philadelphia Phillies SS A/.249, 2 HR, 11 RBI for Williamsport