Junior left-handed pitcher Aaron Poreda became the first USF baseball player ever drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft when he was selected 25th overall by the Chicago White Sox in June.
The Moraga native, who finished his career on The Hilltop ranking third in career victories (17), is currently pitching for the Great Falls White Sox in the Rookie Pioneer League.
“When I came to USF, this was a major stepping stone because of the elevated level of play,” Poreda said. “I didn’t know if I was good enough to compete at this level. After my freshman year of coming out of the ’pen I knew I had the ability to compete at this level, but didn’t know if my arm could go through the wear and tear as a starting pitcher.”
Poreda said the highlight of his USF career came during his sophomore year, when the Dons made the NCAA Regionals for the first time and beat Nebraska.
“Pitching against Nebraska with 10,000 fans in red screaming is a moment that I’ll never forget,” he said.
“This was also another step in my career because I knew that if I can compete on this stage against the No. 6-rated team in the country I could compete against anyone.”
The following year, major league scouts began making regular appearances at USF games. “Every time I picked up a baseball there were 20 to 30 scouts judging and probing me,” he said. “I tried to focus on the stuff I could control and just let the pieces fall. Most importantly, I was just making the best out of my opportunity and trying to have fun.”
Poreda left USF ranking third in shool history wins (17), sixth in ERA (2.61), and seventh in strikeouts (169).
In addition to Poreda, four more USF baseball players are set to enter the next phase of their careers after signing professional minor league contracts. Infielder Brian Chavez signed with the New York Yankees, right-hander Daniel Morales with the Cleveland Indians, right-hander John Quine with the Oakland A’s, and Luke Sommer with the Chicago Cubs.
This year saw the most USF players drafted in a single class in program history.