June 9, 2009
BERKELEY, CALIF. - University of California junior second baseman Jeff Kobernus was the first pick in the second round of the 2009 Major League Amateur Draft, going to the Washington Nationals as the 50th pick overall, while Golden Bear junior right-hander/designated hitter/outfielder Blake Smith was the 56th pick of the draft after being selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round. Kobernus and Smith join junior center fielder Brett Jackson as Cal's 2009 MLB draftees. Jackson was selected in the first round by the Chicago Cubs and was the 31st pick overall.
Kobernus has excelled in his three years at Cal, owning a .324 career average with 44 stolen bases and earning All-Pac-10 honors this past spring and 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, Kobernus batted .341 (74-for-217, 9th in Pac-10, .311 vs. Pac-10) 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. Kobernus was the April 20 Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 11-for-19 (.579) with two doubles, three home runs (including a grand slam) and 12 RBI in games at Stanford, at UC Davis and the three-game series versus Oregon. He had a career-high 14-game hitting streak (27-for-55, .491, 5-2B, 5-HR, 19 RBI) from April 9-May 1 and a 12-game hitting streak from Feb. 21-March 13 (20-for-56, .357, 5-2B, eight RBI). Kobernus had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning Feb. 23 versus Vanderbilt.
Smith earned All-Pac-10 honors this spring as a designated hitter, batting .319 (67-for-210, team-leading .330 vs. Pac-10) with 14 doubles, 10 home runs (10th in Pac-10) and 38 RBI. He threw two runners out at the plate from right field and had two saves and 26 strikeouts in 20.0 innings on the mound. A multi-talented player with an outstanding arm, Smith throws in the low 90s and was a second-team preseason All-American utility player in both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball after he was instrumental in the USA Baseball National (Collegiate) Team capturing the gold medal at the IV FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championship in the Czech Republic this past summer.
Smith helped Team USA to an undefeated 24-0 record and was the American's leading hitter with a .327 average (18-for-55) with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 13 RBI in 20 games. He was one of the national team's top relievers as well, sporting a 1-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and two saves, striking out 11 batters with only three hits and three walks in 9.0 innings. Smith hit a home run versus a Cuban squad that competed in the Beijing Olympics and was named Team USA's seventh best prospect in Baseball America.
Kobernus' Career Statistics YEAR AVG G AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SO SB 2007 .331 52 181 31 60 22 5 1 1 12 27 13 2008 .303 56 228 34 69 27 13 2 3 14 36 11 2009 .341 53 217 43 74 40 14 3 8 17 25 20 Total .324 161 626 108 203 89 32 6 12 43 88 44