For the second time in four years, the expectation is former Salinas High and Cal first baseman Nathan Martorella will hear his name called in Major League Baseball’s Amateur draft.
The draft, which is scheduled for July 17-19 in Los Angeles during all-star weekend, will have 20 rounds this year. The previous two years had been 15 rounds due to the pandemic.
The 21-year-old attained career milestones at Cal this past spring, hitting .333 with 11 home runs and 46 runs batted in over 55 games.
The left-handed power hitter excelled in the leadoff spot for the Bears, compiling a .424 on-base percentage with a team high 76 hits, while walking 34 times.
Martorella recently took part in the MLB combine for prospective draft picks. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has been projected by some scouts to go in the first 10 rounds.
As a senior at Salinas in 2019, Martorella was taken in the 30th round when the draft was 40 rounds by the Boston Red Sox.
Martorella, an all-Pac 12 selection last spring, does have the option of returning to Cal, where he has two years of eligibility left.
A member of The Herald’s All-County football and baseball teams as a senior, Martorella was The Herald’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2019.
It is possible that former Cal teammate and Palma graduate Sam Stoutenborough could hear his name called as well for the second time.
The likeness is Stoutenborough will return for his final collegiate season, having transferred to TCU, where he will pursue his masters degree after graduating this past spring from Cal.
Contributed by local news sources