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Four Day-Two Golden Bears

Jul 18, 2022
Left to right: Steven Zobac, Josh White, Nathan Martorella and Joseph King were selected in rounds 4-10 of the 2022 MLB Draft on Monday.

BERKELEY – California set a program record for the most student-athletes selected in the first five rounds of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft as four Golden Bears heard their names called throughout day two of the 2022 draft on Monday.
Right-handed pitcher Steven Zobac was the No. 115 overall pick by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round, before fellow pitcher Josh White (No. 142) and first baseman Nathan Martorella (No. 150) went to Miami and San Diego, respectively, in the fifth round. Joseph King, another right-handed pitcher, was later taken at No. 277 in the ninth round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
The quartet joined standout outfielder Dylan Beavers, who was selected No. 33 overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the Competitive Balance A portion of the first round on Sunday night. Cal's first four draftees – Beavers, Zobac, White and Martorella – were among the top 150 picks and set a program record for the most players taken in the first five rounds of a single draft; the previous record was three in 2002, 2006 and 2009.
Under head coach Mike Neu (2018-present), Cal has seen 21 total Bears taken in the MLB Draft, including three in the first round and 15 in the top 10 rounds. Cal has had multiple players selected in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft in four of five years in the Neu era.
Cal's five draftees through the first 10 rounds of the 2022 draft are the second most of any Pac-12 school, trailing only Oregon State (6).
Zobac went 4-4 with a 4.09 ERA over 20 appearances (10 starts) this spring but was effective down the stretch, allowing just eight earned runs over his final eight outings. The San Jose, California, native struck out 72 batters and held opponents to a .236 batting average against. He logged 86.1 career innings and previously excelled as a two-way player for the Bears as a freshman and sophomore, batting .234 with five home runs and seven doubles, before transitioning into a full-time role on the mound in 2022.
White registered 91 strikeouts in 2022 – the most by a Bear in a single season in over a decade – and battled through ups and downs to total 67.2 innings pitched as a junior. The right-hander bookended the spring season with impressive efforts, including three consecutive 10-plus strikeout performances to open the year as well as seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts against UCLA in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament on May 25. The Danville, California, product was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention and NCBWA Freshman All-American in 2021 after posting a 2.79 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 61.1 innings. He finished his Cal career with 183 strikeouts and a .239 batting average against in 141.1 frames.
Martorella emerged as one of the Pac-12's most fearsome hitters during a breakout junior season in which he slashed .333/.424/.553 with 11 home runs and 46 runs batted in. The first baseman collected All-Pac-12 first team honors while topping the conference in batting average (.388) and hits (47) during league play. Martorella, who was drafted in the 30th round by the Boston Red Sox out of high school, started 122 of 125 career games played at Cal and totaled 19 home runs and a .283 batting average.
King was Cal's most consistent pitcher throughout 2022, leading the team in innings (72.2), starts (14) and wins (5). To go along with 60 strikeouts and a 3.72 ERA, King ranked third among Pac-12 players with 1.86 walks allowed per nine innings. The right-hander from Redwood, California, was a freshman All-American (Collegiate Baseball) in 2020 and was 8-3 with a 3.43 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 89.1 career innings.
The 2022 MLB Draft continues Tuesday with its final 10 rounds (11-20) being televised live on MLB Network starting at 11 a.m. PT.
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