Cal Poly Closer Jeff Johnson Signs Contract with Cleveland
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Closer Jeff Johnson has signed a professional baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians.
Johnson, a junior, is the sixth Mustang off the 2011 team to sign a contract. All five Mustangs who were drafted earlier this month have signed.
Johnson was drafted in the 10th round by the Indians, the 308th overall selection, and likely will be assigned to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a short-season single-A team in the New York-Penn League.
Johnson, who signed the contract Tuesday night, earned five saves, two wins and a 1.63 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 27.2 innings this spring.
He earned his saves against Loyola Marymount, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and Pacific while the wins were against UC Riverside (struck out five in 3.2 scoreless innings) and Loyola Marymount (two scoreless innings).
Junior right-handed pitcher Mason Radeke, chosen in the 35th round by Cleveland, also has been assigned to Mahoning Valley.
Junior outfielder Bobby Crocker, a fourth-round draft choice of the Oakland Athletics, is expected to play in the New York-Penn League as well, assigned to the Vermont Lake Monsters.
Cal Poly junior infielder Matt Jensen and senior southpaw middle reliever Frankie Reed also have signed professional contracts.
Reed, selected in the 27th round by the Florida Marlins, will likely play for the team's Gulf Coast League squad in Florida while Jensen, selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 31st round, is expected to be assigned to the Missoula Osprey in the rookie Pioneer League.
Senior relief pitcher Eugene Wright signed a contract with the Winnipeg Goldeyes on June 20. The Goldeyes play in the independent American Association.
Wright, a graduate of Sandy Union High School in Oregon who played two seasons at Cerro College College in Ridgecrest before transferring to Cal Poly, posted an 0-3 record and 4.44 ERA for the Mustangs this spring, striking out 19 batters in 26 1/3 innings.
Crocker, is one of 14 former Mustangs who have been chosen in the first four rounds since the draft began in 1965. Crocker and Johnson became the 22nd and 23rd Mustangs to be selected in the first 10 rounds.
Three of the five drafted Mustangs also were drafted after their senior high school season, all in 2008.
Crocker was a 38th-round choice of the Oakland Athletics in 2008 while Radeke was a 41st-round selection of the Chicago White Sox. Jensen was tabbed by the Seattle Mariners in the 11th round.
A total of 44 former Cal Poly players under the guidance of Lee have been drafted, including 15 in the top 10 rounds.