June 19, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, PA - Kobernus First MLB HR
Jeff Kobernus, a standout for the Golden Bears from 2007-09, joined the list of Cal baseball players who have made it to the Big Leagues and reached another milestone yesterday (June 18) by hitting his first Major League home run for the Washington Nationals.
Kobernus was the first pick in the second round of the 2009 Major League Amateur Draft, going to the Nationals as the 50th pick overall. On Tuesday, the outfielder/utility man hit a pinch-hit homer to left field in the eighth inning in a 4-2 loss at Philadelphia. Kobernus was called up by the Nationals on May 24 and notched his first Major League hit June 9 versus Minnesota. He is now the 52nd Cal baseball player to have made the Big Leagues and is the 12th player during the David Esquer tenure (since 2000) to reach the Major Leagues.
Owning a .324 career average with 44 stolen bases and earning All-Pac-10 honors in 2009, Kobernus was also a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America and honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors in 2007. He played second base in 2009 after moving to third base in 2008 and starting in the outfield as a freshman.
As a junior at Cal, Kobernus batted .341 with 14 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 40 RBI. He was second in the Pac-10 with 20 stolen bases, seventh with 74 hits and ninth with 118 total bases. In the 2009 campaign, Kobernus was the April 20 Pac-10 Player of the Week, had a 14-game and a 12-game hitting streak during the season, and had the game-winning hit versus Vanderbilt.
The Bears currently have six players - John Baker (catcher, Los Angeles Dodgers), Brennan Boesch (outfielder, New York Yankees), Allen Craig (first base, St. Louis Cardinals), Kobernus, Brandon Morrow (right-handed pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays) and Tyson Ross (right-handed pitcher San Diego Padres) - in the Major Leagues.
Craig is having an outstanding season, batting .309 with 16 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 52 RBI. His 52 RBI is tied for eighth-best in the Major Leagues. Craig was a key player in the Cardinal's 2011 World Series title run.
Boesch is batting .275 with two doubles, a triple, three home runs and eight RBI in 23 games for the Yankees. On the mound, Morrow is 2-3 with a 5.63 RBI and 42 strikeouts in 54.1 innings for the Blue Jays (10 starts), while Ross is 0-3 with a 2.88 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 34.1 innings (15 appearances, three starts).