Countdown to First Pitch: Nick Halamandaris
It is a strong possibility that Cal fans may see eighth-round MLB draft pick Nick Halamandaris at first base if he's not DH'ing. Every ball he hit this fall has been on the screws, and he rarely gets fooled. Of course, it's very unlikely he'll see much time at first if incumbent Devon Rodriguez is healthy.
Halamandaris pounded 17 home runs over four years with Monterey (Calif.) Stevenson. As a sophomore and a junior, Halamandaris was selected to the Monterey County Herald's All-County baseball team. He was also 2011 first-team Mission Trial Athletic League and finished his junior year with 38 hits, 11 multi-hit games, nine doubles, a triple, four home runs and 29 RBI.
Halamandaris completes a trifecta of lefty power for the 2013 team, including Rodriguez and half of switch-hitter Andrew Knapp. It's not often a kid will turn down up to $500k and a top-10-round selection to go to school, and the Bears will benefit greatly from that decision.