SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State juniors Justin Higley and Tanner Mendonca were both selected during the third day of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Higley, an outfielder from Sacramento, was tabbed by the Oakland A's in the 13th round (401st overall selection). Mendonca, a starting pitcher, was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round (500th overall).
The pair become the 19th and 20th Hornets selected in the draft since the school moved to Div. I in 1990. They follow R.J. Davis and Derrick Chung who were both drafted last season.
A three-year starter, Higley was a first team all-Western Athletic Conference selection as sophomore in 2012. That season, he hit .292 with 12 doubles, a team-high five triples, four home runs and 26 RBIs. This past season, his power numbers surged as he tied for the team lead with 10 home runs and added 10 doubles and three triples while hitting .252 and driving in 28 runs.
Mendonca, a right-handed pitcher from Visalia, Calif., has made 30 starts in his tenure with the Hornets. In 2013, the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder, was 2-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 72.0 innings of work.
The pair have until 5 P.M. (EST) on July 12 to sign with their respective teams. If they elect not to sign, they will return to Sacramento State for their senior seasons. In the event, that they turn professional, they will join Tim Wheeler (Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Triple-A), Mitch Lively (Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A), Gabe Jacobo (Dunedin Blue Jays, Single-A) and Chung (Dunedin Blue Jays, Single-A) as active Sacramento State players in the minors.