June 11, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The professional dreams of four Cal State Northridge Matador student-athletes took one step closer towards becoming a reality as pitcher Brian Slover, outfielder/first baseman Richard Cates, outfielder Jeff Pruitt, and pitcher Ryan McCarney were selected during the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.
Baseball fans can view each and every pick by visiting http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2009/draftcaster.jsp as all 1,521 selections can be organized by team, player name, round or position.
With pick #250 in the eighth round, the Toronto Blue Jays selected redshirt sophomore Slover. The primary reliever for Head Coach Steve Rousey, Slover led the staff with his team-low ERA of 1.39 as he crafted a 4-5 overall record in his 29 appearances last season.
A member of the 2009 All-Big West Conference Second Team as a relief pitcher, the native of Covina, Calif. finished with a team-high nine saves, striking out 48 batters in the process.
One of four members of the Matadors' senior class, outfielder/first baseman Cates was chosen in the 21st round with pick #651 by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The two-time All-Big West Conference honoree led the team in a variety of offensive categories including batting average (.374), on-base percentage (.456), at-bats (222), hits (83), and runs (44).
Originally from Yuba City, Calif., Cates finished the season with two home runs and 28 RBI's, and tied for the second-highest number of stolen bases with seven.
Pruitt, a redshirt sophomore Granada Hills, Calif. was the third Matador selected during the second day of the draft as the Chicago Cubs selected the outfielder in the 23rd round with pick #710.
In addition to a number of highlight-quality plays turned by the centerfielder throughout the season, Pruitt finished 2009 batting .212 with 38 hits, two doubles, and led the team with 24 stolen bases and four triples.
McCarney, a junior-transfer from Acton, Calif. was selected with the #1009 pick in the 33rd round by the Tampa Bay Rays. In his inaugural season at Northridge after transferring from College of the Canyons, McCarney led the team with team-record nine pickoffs, struckout 41 batters in his 49.2 innings pitched, finishing with a 1-4 record and a 5.26 ERA.