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Baseball - Tue, Jun. 13, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Cameron Baranek is the first-ever draft selection for HIU & the first for the GSAC in 2017
Cameron Baranek is the first-ever draft selection for HIU & the first for the GSAC in 2017

FULLERTON, CA – Hope International is proud to announce one more first for its fledgling baseball program in the 2017 season – a selection in the First-Year Player Draft of Major League Baseball. Cameron Baranek (JR/Orange, CA) was taken by the Miami Marlins in the ninth round with the 269th overall pick after tearing it up on the field and at the plate in 2017.

You can find the Marlins' Draft Day recap on the selection here.

Baranek becomes the first player from HIU baseball taken in the MLB Draft and was the second outfielder taken by the Marlins in the 2017 draft with an approximate pick value of $142.3K, per the MLB Draft Tracker. Baranek helped power the Royals all season long with his play in the field and at the plate and set a number of single-season marks for the second-year program on his way to an NAIA All-American recognition and an All-GSAC selection.

Coach Erich Pfohl had this to say after Baranek became the third NAIA player taken in the 2017 MLB Draft and the first player taken from the GSAC, "Cameron is an outstanding person and ball player. His need to be great, open mind to learning, and tireless work ethic have created this wonderful opportunity. Myself, the staff, and everyone involved in the program could not be happier for him!"

Coach Pfohl continued on to remark on Baranek's leadership and example, saying, "[Cam's] focus all year was on winning when it came time to play or practice - it's a great lesson for the younger players in our program to focus on the 'now' and the rest will take care of itself."

Baranek also spoke with HIU Sports Information moments after his selection. "I was trying to meet my family for my little brother's baseball game at Villa Park HS with my girlfriend and I went on Twitter on her phone – I don't even know what I was checking –  and I saw my name pop up. I grabbed her and gave her a big hug and told her. She told me 'you're lying' and then my name came over the [phone] on the MLB Draft broadcast and we both just started celebrating right there in the bleachers," Baranek said after hearing his name called.

When asked what it meant to him to be a part of the 2017 season for HIU Baseball and to represent the school as the first MLB Draft pick in program history, Baranek replied, "I'm just so thankful to God for everything He's done for me first and foremost. I'm just grateful – so grateful for all the coaching staff, for all my teammates, I could not be more grateful to them for helping me along the entire way by just being good teammates and pushing me to always be better. [What we did this year], it's a team effort, and we couldn't have gotten [as far as we did] in 2017 without everybody doing their part."

With Baranek now departing to one of Miami's affiliate teams, he leaves with a number of program records to his credit. Those single-season marks include: most home runs (14), most total bases (133), slugging percentage (.672), runs scored (58), hits (72), triples (3), and stolen bases (20). Defensively, his fielding percentage of .993 is the best of any outfielder for HIU, and his mark of 129 putouts are the most for any HIU outfielder in a single season.

Congratulations to you, Cameron, on being selected in the Top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft, and thanks for all of your efforts this season!

 
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