On Wednesday afternoon, Valencia High and College of the Canyons baseball product Cole Kleszcz sat with his dad and his uncle at his temporary home in Alaska, where he is currently playing baseball in a summer league.
Although he was miles away from Southern California, he was more connected with Vikings baseball than he could have expected.
By the end of the MLB Draft, Valencia High had six former players selected to a professional team. Kleszcz was one of them, getting drafted to the Cleveland Indians in the 40th round.
“It’s just kind of unreal,” Kleszcz said. “It’s just so exciting. You always dream about this happening and getting drafted and now that it’s happened, it’s so crazy sand I’m just so excited.”
— Valencia Baseball (@v1k1ngsbaseball) June 14, 2017
Kleszcz was also recently tabbed as the Western State Conference, East Division Player of the Year and nabbed several other conference and state awards.
On Wednesday, the final day of the draft, Valencia grads Kleszcz, Colton Burns, Ben Fariss and Chase Farrell each had a team to potentially sign with.
Burns was chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the 18th round, Fariss by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 39th round and Farrell by the Houston Astros in the 40th round.
Texts were exchanged immediately after the picks were made and retweets of the MLB Draft Tracker Twitter account flowed.
Kleszcz, Fariss and Farrell were each on the 2015 Valencia roster together as part of a team that finished second in the Foothill League and made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
Burns graduated in 2013 after playing two years on varsity.
“It’s a great program,” said Kleszcz. “That’s where it all starts. It’s where you learn about the team and it just helps develop players. It helps guys get to where they need to be. Good coaching and good program.”
In addition to the Valencia group, two other SCV players were drafted.
Hart grad and UCLA redshirt sophomore Nick Valaika was a 24th-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Valaika is the fourth Valaika brother to be drafted to an MLB team. Chris was selected in 2006; Matt in 2009 and 2010; and Pat in 2013. Pat currently plays for the Colorado Rockies.
The San Francisco Giants picked up The Master’s University’s Michael Sexton in the 14th round.
This year with the Mustangs, he had 65 hits, 64 RBIs and 17 home runs.
“The numbers that Mike put up here at TMU are staggering,” said TMU coach Monte Brooks. “He was exciting to watch play, truly a blessing to our program. The Lord gifted this young man with incredible abilities and I am looking forward to seeing him perform in the Giants organization.”
On the second day of the MLB Draft, West Ranch grad JC Cloney was picked in the ninth round by the Kansas City Royals and Valencia’s Jared Oliva was picked in the seventh. Both played at Arizona.
Stevenson Ranch resident Hunter Greene was the second overall pick and Valencia’s Keston Hiura (UC Irvine) was the ninth overall pick on Monday.