SECAUCUS, N.J. — Ian Dawkins (27th round) and Vinny Esposito (34th round) were both selected on day three of the 2018 MLB Draft. Dawkins was selected 798th overall by the Chicago White Sox while Esposito was selected 1005th overall by the Detroit Tigers.
A native of San Lorenzo, Calif., Dawkins began his career at Sacramento State in 2017 as a junior transfer from Chabot College and immediately proved himself as one of the best hitters in the WAC. In his debut season, Dawkins led the team in games, runs, hits, stolen bases, average, and on base percentage. He matched a program record by recording 28 multi-hit games.
He followed that up with another excellent senior campaign, again leading the team multiple offensive categories, including runs (49), hits (89), doubles (18), batting average (.359), on base percentage (.415), and slugging (.528). He set a new program record with 30 multi-hit games and closed his Sacramento State career with a .349 batting average, the 10th best average in program history. He was a two-time All-WAC First Team selection.
Esposito was a four-year Hornet, making his debut at Sacramento State as a true freshman in 2015. A native of Granite Bay, Calif., Esposito stepped into an everyday role immediately and played in at least 50 games in each of his four seasons. He had a breakout season as a junior, hitting .300 with 10 home runs and 52 RBIs and was named to the All-WAC second team.
He closed his Sacramento State career with an excellent showing in the 2018 WAC Tournament where he hit .320 with two home runs, five runs scored, and seven RBIs. For his career, Esposito ranks among the top-10 all-time in multiple categories, including at bats (6th, 781), RBIs (6th, 128), runs (10th, 112), triples (T-8th, 7), and home runs (T-5th, 27). In addition, Esposito played an excellent first base for Sacramento State during his career, posting a career .992 fielding percentage, including a career best .998 during his senior season.
Dawkins and Esposito join James Outman (7th round, 224th overall) as the three Hornets taken in the 2018 MLB Draft. With three selections this year, Sacramento State has now had three or more players taken in four of the last six MLB drafts. The program has had at least once player taken in each of the last seven drafts. At least one Hornet has been drafted or signed as a free for the last 11 years and in 15 of the last 16 seasons.