SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – First baseman Tyler Kuresa and right-handed reliever Jared Wilson were both selected on the third and final day of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, giving UCSB three draftees in this year's iteration after Brandon Trinkwon was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday.
Both Kuresa and Wilson were drafted for the second time in their careers.
Kuresa, a redshirt sophomore, was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 14th round with the 433rd overall pick. The 6-4 first baseman put together a solid campaign in his first year with the Gauchos, compiling a .296/.359/.455 slash line in the cleanup role. His power stroke led him to lead the team in hits (69), doubles (16), triples (three), home runs (five), and slugging percentage. A slick fielder at first base, Kuresa paced the Big West Conference with 544 putouts and was involved in the most double plays (48) of any player in the league. The Roseville, Calif. native was previously drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the eleventh round.
Wilson, a redshirt senior, was selected by Minnesota for the second consecutive year. After being selected in the 35th round last year, he improved his draft stock by striking out 10.72 batters per inning in 2013 while sporting a fastball that touched the mid-90's. His 22 appearances were the third most on the Gauchos pitching staff, while his strikeout rate ranked second behind only closer Dylan Hecht. He finished the year with a 1-0 record and a 5.16 ERA, and so was selected in the 2013 draft in the 19th round with the 560th overall selection.
A pair of UCSB commits were drafted on Saturday as well. Gabe Speier, a left-handed pitcher out of Dos Pueblos High School, was taken just three spots after Wilson in the 19th round by the Boston Red Sox. Brody Weiss, the son of Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss, was chosen by his father's team in the 22nd round with the 643rd overall selection.