The 2021 Major League Baseball Draft wrapped up on Tuesday, with seven Long Beach area ballplayers hearing their names called during the 20-round affair. Last season’s draft was condensed to just five rounds, leaving an even larger crop of talent in this year’s player pool.
One of the most notable hold-overs from last year’s shortened draft was former Lakewood left-handed pitcher Ricky Tiedemann. The 6-foot-4 southpaw was projected to go near the top of the 2020 draft, but the pandemic took away his senior season and ultimately led him to nearby Golden West College, where he was an All-State selection this year. Tiedemann was the third-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, going as the 91st overall pick in this year’s draft.
“Ricky was a pleasure to have this season,” siad Golden West head coach and Long Beach Poly alum Andrew Ramos. “It was fun to watch him grow over his seven starts with us. The past 16 months have been a whirlwind for him. Between him breaking his right arm, COVID cutting the 2020 draft down to five rounds, his decision to go the JC route, LBCC not having a season and then him ultimately ending with us; Nothing has gone smoothly. I truly feel that the stability the Blue Jays will provide for him will allow him to really blossom, really quickly. I can’t wait to watch it happen.”
Tiedemann is the younger brother of RHP Tai Tiedemann, who is currently playing in the Texas Rangers organization. Tai was a CIF Championship-winning quarterback at Long Beach Poly before going on to pitch at Long Beach City College. The elder Tiedemann was drafted by Texas in the eighth round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
As Ricky Tiedemann becomes the latest Lakewood Lancer to join the professional ranks, alums from three other local high schools had their names called during this year’s draft. Former Millikan right-hander Julian Aguiar went to the Cincinnati Reds in Round 12, another JUCO selection out of Cypress College.
Former Long Beach Poly outfielder EJ Andrews, who went on to play college ball at Fresno State, was selected in the 13th round by the Colorado Rockies. Finally, Wilson alum Zach Pettway went to the Cleveland Indians in Round 16. Pettway just wrapped up his senior season at UCLA where the right-handed pitcher was a Freshman All-American in 2018 and a First Team All-American for the Bruins in 2020.
A trio of Long Beach State Dirtbags were also selected in this year’s draft, led by sophomore LHP Alfredo Ruiz, who was chosen in the sixth round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Redshirt freshman center fielder Connor Kokx was a 13th round selection of the Indians after earning Freshman All-American honors this season. Meanwhile, junior RHP Johnathan Lavallee went in the 16th round to the Minnesota Twins, following an All-American season on the mound while earning co-Big West Pitcher of the Year accolades.
Here is the list of Long Beach’s 2021 draftees:
Toronto Blue Jays (Pick 91) – LHP Ricky Tiedemann (Lakewood HS/Golden West College)
St. Louis Cardinals (Pick 181) – LHP Alfredo Ruiz (Long Beach State)
Cincinnati Reds (Pick 360) – RHP Julian Aguiar (Millikan HS/Cypress College)
Cleveland Indians (Pick 366) – OF Connor Kokx (Long Beach State)
Colorado Rockies (Pick 380) – OF EJ Andrews (Long Beach Poly HS/Fresno State)
Cleveland Indians (Pick 486) – RHP Zach Pettway (Wilson HS/UCLA)
Minnesota Twins (Pick 489) – RHP Johnathan Lavallee (Long Beach State)