SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On an exciting day for Bronco athletics, Santa Clara had two outfielders drafted in 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft on Wednesday. Lucas Herbst was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the fourth pick in the 26th round and Pat Stover was selected with the 18th pick in the 40th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"The Orioles are a smart and lucky organization to have drafted such an outstanding person and ballplayer," said Santa Clara head coach Dan O'Brien. "Lucas has been a professional all year and this is his time. He's going to be a great ballplayer at the next level. We want to help prepare our ballplayers for this opportunity and it feels great to see such a promising person and player get such a great opportunity."
Herbst hit .356 (52-146) in 2012 which was good for second on the team. He scored 29 runs while knocking in 25 more. Herbst hit two home runs, four triples and seven doubles to go along with six steals. A career .301 (178-592) hitter, Herbst collected 26 stolen bases and hit seven home runs. He also hit an impressive 10 triples and added 14 doubles while driving in 71 runs and scoring 103 more.
"It is an honor each time you get drafted," said Stover. "To have a professional team recognize your hard work is special. Even though it is an honor, it is not a hard decision to come back to Santa Clara next year because of where the program is going with Coach O'Brien. I am looking to keep improving and build on this past season and I think we can have a special year in 2013."
"What's exciting about Pat being drafted is that he's nowhere near maximizing his ability," added O'Brien. "He's just heating up and you're going to see him flourish this summer and next year. Then he will really attract the attention he deserves."
A First-Team All-WCC selection in 2012, Stover tied for the team lead with five home runs while starting all but one game. He batted .297 while leading the team in several offensive categories, including at-bats (202), hits (60), runs scored (33), RBI (37), total bases (85), doubles (10) and stolen bases (14). Stover was drafted out of high school in 2009 by the Oakland Athletic's in the seventh round but chose to attend Santa Clara.
This year marks the third year in a row that Santa Clara has had at least one player drafted into the Major Leagues. In 2010 Alex Rivers, Nate Garcia, Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica were all chosen. In 2011 J.R. Graham was taken in the fourth round, 146th overall, by the Atlanta Braves. It was the program's highest draft pick since Randy Winn was selected 65th overall in 1995.
Former Bronco Daniel Nava was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League in January 2008 and made his major league debut on June 12, 2010. Nava famously hit the first big league pitch he saw for a grand slam at Fenway Park. This year Nava is having a breakout season and is hitting .309 with a .442 on-base percentage and .506 slugging percentage. He has hit 10 doubles and two homeruns to go with 18 RBI and 18 runs scored.