The 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft this week provided the Long Beach State and Millikan High baseball programs an opportunity to make some history. The Dirtbags had at least one player selected for a 19th consecutive year, and the Rams had a former player drafted who will sign for the first time in 10 years.
Millikan alum Spencer Steer was selected in the 29th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians, but decided to go to the University Of Oregon. It certainly paid off as Steer was drafted 90th overall by the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Steer told The Register-Guard that he is close to finalizing terms with the Twins and skipping his senior season at Oregon. The slot value for his selection is $657,600. He will be the first former Millikan baseball player to sign with a team since Jon Singleton in 2009.
Steer just wrapped up another excellent season at Oregon where he’s the all-time RBI leader and the highest-drafted position player in program history.
Steer is a true homegrown product who played with multiple teams from Los Altos tee-ball Whaley PONY.
“It’s like a family,” Steer said in 2016 of the local baseball community. “I think I’ve met everyone in Long Beach through baseball. My parents and grandparents went to Millikan, so I knew where I was going.”
As a four-year starter at Millikan, Steer had 117 hits in 113 games as a Ram with 81 runs scored and 67 RBIs.
When Steer’s Cal Ripken All-Star team was changed into a travel team by his father, Chris, and other local dads they named themselves the Dirtclods with the similar Long Beach State designs. Steer was on that team from ages 8-13.
“That team took on the Dirtbags attitude of never quitting and having a passion for the game,” Chris said. “They learned the fundamentals together, but they also became friends. I don’t know who had more fun, the kids on the field or the parents at the pool parties.”
Three actual LBSU Dirtbags were also picked this week as Zak Baayoun was selected by the Colorado Rockies, Dylan Spacke went to the Red Sox, and Nick Avila was taken by the San Francisco Giants.
Baayoun was picked in the 17th round by the Rockies with the 519th overall selection. The junior lefty spent two years as a starter at LBSU after playing a key role in the bullpen as a freshman during the run to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Spacke went 647th overall in the 21st round from the Boston Red Sox. The three-year righty reliever posted a team-best 2.57 ERA in 22 appearances this season with four saves and 25 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Avila was picked by the Giants in the 26th round with the 776th overall selection. Avila had a 3.19 ERA over seven starts in Big West play this season with a 3.19 ERA.