Stassi unworried about the draft

RENO - Brock Stassi doesn't plan on stressing out during the three-day major league baseball amateur draft starting on Monday.

"I will hopefully be out on the golf course as it is all going on," the Nevada Wolf Pack pitcher/first baseman said Saturday, "to keep myself relaxed and keep my mind off of it."

Stassi, who hit .360 for the Pack this year as a senior, has plenty of experience with the draft. He was drafted in the 44th round by the Cleveland Indians last June, his younger brother Max was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round in 2009 and his father Jim was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 17th round in 1982.

"Hopefully, it all works out this week," Stassi said.

Stassi led the Wolf Pack is most every important offensive category this past season. He led the team in batting average (.360), slugging (.512), on base percentage (.454), doubles (19), triples (3), RBI (34), hits (73), total bases (104) and walks (34).

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound left-hander hit .417 over the last 25 games with 22 RBI and 15 runs scored. He was remarkably consistent, getting on base on either a walk or hit (or both) in 51 of his 55 games.

All of that production at the plate - coupled with a sore shoulder that limited him to eight games on the mound this season - has caused major league teams to take a new look at him.

The Indians picked him as a pitcher last year after he was named the Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year (7-4, 3.43 earned run average). This year, though, Stassi said big league organizations are looking more at his bat than his left arm.

"All of the teams have been talking to me as a hitter this year," Stassi said.

That could change during the three-day draft. Stassi pitched five shutout innings for the Marysville (Calif.) Gold Sox last Sunday, allowing just three hits and three walks with five strikeouts. He is also 4-for-10 in three games at the plate for the Gold Sox, a summer league team that his father helps coach.

Stassi, who has another talented baseball-playing brother (Jake, a freshman at Long Beach State), just wants to follow in a long line of family members who have played pro ball.

Max, who received a $1.5 million signing bonus out of Yuba City (Calif.) High, (he had a scholarship to UCLA as leverage), is currently in the Oakland organization at Class A Stockton.

Jim, a former Wolf Pack catcher, advanced as high as Triple-A in the 1980s. The elder Stassi, who coached Brock, Max and Jake at Yuba City High before retiring in 2010, hit .362 in 1981 and .403 in 1982 as a Pack catcher.

Stassi's great grandfather Sam and grandfather Bob played in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. A great uncle, Sam, also played minor league ball. Another great-great uncle, Myril Hoag, played with the New York Yankees and was a teammate of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Stassi, though, says he has no idea what might happen during the draft.

"I have been talking to a few teams throughout the season," he said. "I am pretty unsure of when they are looking to draft me."

Stassi completed his Wolf Pack career as one of the top left-handed hitters in school history. He finished with a .340 career average, 93 runs scored, 40 doubles, nine triples, 15 homers, 94 RBI and 75 walks in just three seasons as a hitter. In four years as a pitcher, he was 19-13 with a 5.32 ERA with 183 strikeouts in 243.2 innings.

"I was told a few things last year before the draft (that didn't happen) so I am not trying to get my hopes up about any of it," Stassi said.

The first round of the draft will be conducted on Monday with rounds two through 30 on Tuesday and rounds 31 through 50 on Wednesday.

Also possibly hearing their name called on draft day off the Wolf Pack 2011 roster are outfielders Nick Melino (.303 average) and Brian Barnett (.267), catchers Carlos Escobar (.289) and Michael Turay (.260), infielder Joe Kohan (.283) and pitchers Matt Gardner (1.71 earned run average), Troy Marks (4.21), Jeremy Cole (4.50) and Mark Joukoff (5.10).

Melino, Kohan, Escobar, Gardner, Marks and Turay were all juniors in 2011 and have another year of college eligibility remaining. Turay, though, has already left the Wolf Pack program and will play elsewhere in 2012. Barnett, Cole and Joukoff were seniors this season.


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