MLB Draft: McCann, Turnbull, Foresters go early

Dos Pueblos graduate James McCann, a catcher for the University of Arkansas, was selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.

McCann, a 6-2, 210-pounder, went 76th overall to the Detroit Tigers after hitting .306 with 38 RBI in 61 games for the Razorbacks as captain this season.

SBCC lefty Kylin Turnbull, who also played for the Santa Barbara Foresters last summer, was picked by the Washington Nationals early in the fourth round. The 127th overall pick had 92 strikeouts in 80 innings with a 5-2 record and 2.47 ERA as a Vaquero this year.

The Foresters have been well represented thus far, with Sam Stafford — a University of Texas lefty who dominated the California Collegiate League with the team the last two years — going in the second round (88th overall) to the New York Yankees. Other 2010 Foresters selected were infielder Kyle Kubitza of Texas State (Atlanta Braves, 3rd round, #115), 2009 team MVP Brandon Loy of the University of Texas (Detroit Tigers, 5th round, #167), single-season saves record-holder Cody Martin of Gonzaga (Atlanta Braves, 7th round, #236) and Carson Smith of Texas State (Seattle Mariners, 8th round, #243).

San Marcos graduate and standout catcher Riley Moore was selected in the 21st round by the Philadelphia Phillies (661st overall pick). Moore, who has committed to the University of Arizona, is catching for the Foresters.

McCann, 21, was a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, presented to college baseball’s top catcher. He was named the Southeastern Conference baseball scholar athlete of the year.

In his senior year at Dos Pueblos, McCann was a 31st-round pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2008 draft but chose to attend college.

“Coming out of high school, and the difference between me coming out of high school and me coming out my junior year is like night and day as far as being mentally prepared, physically prepared,” McCann told the media after Arkansas’ Sunday loss against Arizona State in an elimination game of the NCAA Regionals. “It’s been a pleasure working with all the coaches.”

Baseball America ranked McCann 129th on its list of top 200 prospects. The publication said of 6-2, 210-pound catcher:

“McCann doesn’t have any standout tools, but he also doesn’t have a glaring weakness. He has a chance to hit for average and has fringe-average power, though his swing can get long. His home runs usually come on mistakes, and he has had issue with velocity.

“McCann has a solid-average arm and is a fringe-average receiver whose actions can get long, defensively, as well. His solid 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame is a plus, as are his leadership skills and intangibles. The thin college catcher crop should help him get drafted in the first three rounds.”

Pitchers Jesse Meaux of UCSB and SBCC’s Chris Joyce both were picked in the 19th round. The right-handed Meaux went to the Colorado Rockies (588th overall pick) while the lefty Joyce was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds (595th pick).

“Having the opportunity to be chosen last year was great, but to be able to come back to UCSB as a senior, get my degree, and then get drafted again is something really special,” Meaux said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to play baseball at UCSB and am now prepared to move forward

UCSB infielder Mark Haddow went to the Chicago White Sox in the 24th round (741st overall pick).