By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt Crabs have been sending players on to the pro ranks for generations, but rarely if ever have they managed to send this many on in one year.
A remarkable six former Crabs players were chosen in this week’s MLB Draft, including an incredible four from the 2018 team alone.
“It’s the most in any year for sure, since I’ve been here,” said assistant coach and former Crabs player Eric Giacone, who has been keeping close tabs on Crabs players in the draft over the years. “It’s great for the organization.”
Even more impressive, three of the six were taken in the top-10 rounds, with two more going in the top 15.
A pair of stars from the 2018 team — Kellen Strahm of San Jose State and McCarthy Tatum of Fresno State — were each taken in the top-10 rounds, along with David Hamilton of the University of Texas, who played at the Arcata Ball Park in 2016.
Strahm, an outfielder, was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the fifth round, the 145th pick overall.
Hamilton, a shortstop, was taken in round eight by the Milwaukee Brewers, the 253rd overall pick, while Tatum, a third baseman, went in round 10 to the Philadelphia Phillies, No. 300 overall.
Giacone was not surprised to see some of these players move on to bigger organizations.
“Kellen and McCarthy are out-of-this-world special talents,” he said of the 2018 Crabs stars. “They have the size, the speed. They’re both five-tool guys.”
Also drafted from last year’s Crabs team were outfielder Connor Blair of the University of Washington, who went in round 15 (457th overall) to the Atlanta Braves, and pitcher Jonathan Stroman out of Central Arizona, who was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 22nd round (662nd overall).
Rounding out a big week for the former Crabs, third baseman Ryan Reynolds will join his Texas teammate Hamilton in the pros after being picked by the Chicago Cubs in the 14th round (432nd overall).
Reynolds played for the Crabs in the summer of 2016.