June 7, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Led by second-round pick Dustin Pedroia, four Arizona State baseball players were selected in the first 13 rounds during the first day of the annual June Amateur Major League Baseball Draft.
Pedroia was highest Sun Devil drafted when he was selected 65th overall by the Boston Red Sox. Junior infielder Josh Asanovich was taken in the 11th round (315th overall) by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, junior RHP Jason Urquidez was the 11th round pick (318th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds and junior outfielder Jeff Larish was drafted in the 13th round (380th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I am excited for all four players as it is a dream come true to have their named called in the draft," said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. "It is our goal for each player that enters our program to improve their draft status and in each case all four players really improved. We hope that we can get one or two of them back for next year, but for them just to get the opportunity to play professional baseball is pretty special."
Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) capped his amazing Sun Devil career by hitting .393 (96-for-244) with 24 doubles, nine home runs and 49 RBI as a junior in 2004. The three-time First-Team All-Pac-10 selection ranks seventh in school history with a .384 career batting average and is fourth with 71 career doubles. He is one of five finalists for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award and was a two-time starting shortstop for the USA Baseball National Team. Pedroia did not get drafted out of high school.
Asanovich (Gold Canyon, Ariz.) was drafted for the second time in his career, improving 15 rounds after being selected in the 26th round by Tampa Bay in 2001. The junior college transfer from Central Arizona College finished third on the team hitting .367 (55-for-150) with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs and 41 RBI. Asanovich was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection and earned team Newcomer of the Year honors.
Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) was drafted just three spots after Asanovich with the 11th round selection by the Cincinnati Reds. The junior right-hander improved 37 rounds after being selected in the 48th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2002. Urquidez led the Pac-10 in wins, going 12-3 with a 3.41 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 97.2 innings pitched. He was named ASU's Pitcher of the Year and was a First-Team All-Pac-10 selection.
Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) went into the draft as one of the most highly touted college position players in the nation, but dropped to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th round. Larish hit .308 (73-for-237) with 17 doubles, seven home runs and 49 RBI. He was a member of the 2003 USA Baseball National Team, leading the team with eight home runs. Larish improved 19 rounds after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 32nd round out of McClintock High School in 2001.
Player Team Round Overall Selection Dustin Pedroia, SS Boston Red Sox 2nd 65 Josh Asanovich, INF Tampa Bay Devil Rays 11th 315 Jason Urquidez, RHP Cincinnati Reds 11th 318 Jeff Larish, OF Los Angeles Dodgers 13th 388Dustin Pedroia Quotes:
"I am pretty excited about being picked by Boston and it is a dream come true to hear my name in the draft."
"It is kind of an unreal feeling. I was pretty nervous last night and this morning, but I am pretty pumped now after hearing my name called."
"I really want to thank my coaches and teammates at Arizona State as they made most of this possible. It's been an unbelievable three years here as a Sun Devil and I can't thank them enough. Coach Murphy has been unbelievable and gave me the chance to come to a big time college baseball program."
"It has been a goal of mine since I was a little kid to play professional baseball and now that is a dream come true. My parents have always been there at all my games and supported me throughout my baseball career and I couldn't have done any of this without them. My friends and family are all a big part of this as they all believed in a small shortstop from Woodland."