LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State catcher David Banuelos was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 5th Round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday. The junior from Ontario, Calif. was a standout for the Dirtbags this season, winning Big West Defensive Player of the Year, receiving a First Team All-American nod from Baseball America, and checking in as one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award.
Banuelos is a two-time First Team All-Big West selection and was a stalwart in the Dirtbags lineup in 2017. He made 57 starts this season, with 55 of them coming behind the plate. Banuelos was a force defensively, holding opposing basestealers to just a 37.5 percent success rate on stolen base attempts, throwing out 20 of the 32 players attempting to run against him. Opposing teams only dared to attempt 40 steals against Long Beach State, compared to 111 stolen base attempts for the Dirtbags.
Offensively, Banuelos was a .289 hitter with a .468 slugging percentage. He was second on the team with seven home runs as a junior, driving in 29 runs and scoring 31. He had a career-high four RBIs in Long Beach State’s second game of the season, led by a three-run home run in an 8-3 win at Oklahoma. He also had a pair of four-hit games this season, one at Arizona State (Mar. 10) and the other at UC Santa Barbara (Apr. 1).
This is the 29th consecutive MLB Draft with at least one Long Beach State player selected, and the fifth straight year with a Dirtbag going in the first 10 rounds. The last Long Beach State player to be drafted by the Mariners was Jason Markovitz, who was a 13th Round selection back in 2010.
The 2017 MLB Draft will continue through Round 10 on Tuesday and conclude with Rounds 11-40 on Wednesday.
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