Jan. 25, 2013
BERKELEY - Daulton Jefferies, a 5-11, 160-pound right-handed pitcher/infielder from Atwater (Buhach Colony High School) might just be Cal baseball's next outstanding two-way player. A left-handed hitter, Jefferies batted an impressive .366 as a high school junior with 22 runs, 37 hits, 29 RBI, eight doubles, three triples; and had a .505 slugging percentage and a .480 on-base percentage.
On the mound, Jefferies was 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA and four complete games for Buchach Colony High School. He was named the 2012 MVP of the Central California Conference as a shortstop and pitcher.
"Daulton is a great athlete who has a passion for baseball and will bring an element of toughness to our program," said Cal pitching coach Mike Neu. "He is a skilled two-way player who will definitely have an opportunity to contribute to our program on the mound as well as the infield."
A two-way player can be extremely valuable for a college program, especially in postseason competition when a team might have to play several games in a week and needs depth in its pitching staff. The Golden Bears have had a history of outstanding two-way players, including Cal Hall of Famer Jon Zuber, who was the 1992 Pac-10 Southern Division Co-Player of the Year and NCAA East Regional MVP, helping propel the Bears to the 1992 College World Series. Most recently Cal featured Blake Smith, a top hitter and pitcher for the Bears from 2007-09, who is now in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
"Daulton has the unique ability to be a two-way player at the college level," explained Cal hitting coach Tony Arnerich. "He has a quick bat and an outstanding arm. Daulton's understanding of the game is beyond his years. Part of that comes from his brother (Jake, who plays in the minor leagues for the Miami Marlins) playing at such a high level. I know that this gives him the confidence that he can do the same thing. Daulton believes he can compete with anyone. When you have a player with these attributes it usually rubs off on the whole team and makes everybody better."
"I'm really excited to be a Cal Bear," said Jefferies, who originally had verbally committed to Stanford. "When things didn't work out at Stanford, I talked to Cal. It was a better situation. I like the environment there. It's a close-knit team. Everyone is like brothers and you can't go wrong with the university's education."
The 2013 Bears' upcoming spring schedule features 26 home games at Evans Diamond, including hosting a three-game series against Michigan, Feb. 15-17 in Berkeley to open the 2013 campaign. Cal's non-conference schedule also includes a four-game series at UC Irvine, three games at the Houston College Classic (versus Baylor, North Carolina and Houston at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros) and a four-game home series versus Fresno State. Cal will also be hosting Pac-12 series versus USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford this spring at Evans Diamond.
Cal Baseball fans should also make plans to attend the second annual Fan Fest, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Evans Diamond. Following the Fan Fest festivities, there will be a Blue-Gold intrasquad scrimmage beginning at 1 p.m.