May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Long Beach State pitcher Zak Baayoun signs with Rockies after being drafted in 17th round

Zak Baayoun delivers a pitch for Long Beach State. (Photo courtesy Long Beach State athletic media relations, For OC Sports Zone)

Former Woodbridge High baseball star Zak Baayoun was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 17th round of the Major League draft and has signed with the organization, according to Woodbridge Coach Tim Murray, his high school coach.

The left-handed pitcher, who completed his junior season at Long Beach State, was the 519th player selected. He will forgo his final season at Long Beach.

Baayoun had a 3-9 record and a 5.54 ERA this year with the Dirtbags, who were 14-41 overall and 8-16 in the Big West Conference. In 79 2/3 innings, Baayoun had 47 strikeouts. He had 17 appearances and started 12 of them.

In his freshman season, Baayoun was a standout reliever and helped Long Beach State reach the Super Regionals. He was 3-0 with a 3.22 ERA with 28 strikeouts.

During his junior year, Baayoun was 9-3 with a 3.58 ERA and earned second team All-Big West honors.

Baayoun had a stellar career at Woodbridge as a pitcher and first baseman and led the Warriors to the CIF Division 3 finals against Redondo Union in 2016. Redondo Union won 2-1. Baayoun was named co-MVP of the PCL along with teammate Jake Larson.

“Zak always had the potential to pitch in the big leagues and he continued to improve and develop in college,” said Murray, his former coach at Woodbridge.

“Zak still has room to grow as he moves to the professional ranks and I look forward to seeing him reach his full potential and take the rubber on a big league mound one day.”

Woodbridge’s current coach Ryan Brucker, also saw Baayoun’s potential.

“I had the pleasure of coaching Zak during his sophomore season at Woodbridge,” Brucker said. “He is an outstanding pitcher and we can’t wait to see how he develops as a professional. The Woodbridge Warriors wish Zak nothing but best.”

Baayoun, who is now playing with the Boise Hawks, could not be reached for comment.

Baayoun was one of three Long Beach State players selected in the draft. Pitcher Dylan Spacke was selected by the Red Sox in the 21st round and pitcher Nick Avila in the 26th round by the San Francisco Giants.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com