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Four Drafted Mustang Baseball Players Sign Minor League Contracts

Four Drafted Mustang Baseball Players Sign Minor League Contracts

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Four of the six Cal Poly baseball players who were drafted by Major League teams earlier this month have signed minor league contracts.

Right-handed relief pitcher Chase Johnson, chosen in the third round by the San Francisco Giants, inked a deal with a $440,000 signing bonus Tuesday. The 101st overall selection has not yet been assigned to a minor league team, but likely will end up with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Northwest League or the Arizona League's Giants in Scottsdale.

Michael Holback, also a right-handed relief pitcher, signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, who drafted the junior in the 25th round. Holback has been assigned to the Johnson City Cardinals in the Appalachian League.

Senior right-handed starting pitcher Joey Wagman (pictured at right) signed his contract Wednesday and has been assigned to the Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer League. Wagman was chosen in the 17th round by the Chicago White Sox.

Wagman could be pitching to former Mustang second baseman Denver Chavez in the coming days. Chavez, a 30th-round draft pick, signed his contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday and the senior has been assigned to the Missoula Osprey, also of the Pioneer League. Great Falls meets Missoula on Saturday and Sunday.

Also drafted June 6-8 were sophomore right-handed relief pitcher Reed Reilly (18th round, Baltimore Orioles) and junior third baseman Jimmy Allen (23rd round, Boston Red Sox). Both have until July 12 to sign or they will return to Cal Poly next year.

Johnson, Cal Poly's 10th-highest draft choice ever, finished his junior season in strong fashion, allowing no runs in his last six appearances over 9 1/3 innings, including 4 1/3 scoreless frames over three stints in the NCAA Division I Los Angeles Regional. The Fallbrook High School (San Diego County) graduate did not have a decision this spring and posted a 2.31 ERA with 21 strikeouts and nine walks over 23 1/3 innings.

Holback was Cal Poly's setup man out of the bullpen and compiled a 3-2 record, 3.86 ERA and two saves. He finished with 56 strikeouts in 49 innings. Holback was 0-2 with a 2.60 ERA as a sophomore and played on Cal Poly's club baseball team in 2011.

Wagman, who earned 27 victories in four Mustang seasons and twice earned first-team All-Big West Conference honors, was Cal Poly's Friday night starter the last two years. He compiled a 13-3 record and 2.96 ERA this spring with a Big West-leading 103 strikeouts in 112 1/3 innings. He broke Cal Poly's single-season record for wins (Garrett Olson had 12 in 2005) and won 22 games in his last two years as a Mustang.

A fifth-year senior, Chavez was Cal Poly's top hitter with a .357 average this season. The leadoff hitter and first-team All-Big West honoree contributed 14 doubles, three triples and one home run with 23 RBI and a team-leading 17 steals. Chavez did not commit an error in Cal Poly's first 30 games of the season, finished with seven errors in 279 chances at second base and produced a team-leading 26 multiple-hit games, including his first career five-hit game at UC Santa Barbara.

Cal Poly has had 19 players chosen in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft since Larry Lee took over as head coach of the Mustangs in 2003. Only three of those 19, including Johnson, were drafted out of high school as well. Johnson was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 26th round of the 2010 draft.