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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Panthers turn pro
City College’s Dennis Boatman pitches in the top of the sixth inning against Chabot College in game two of a doubleheader at Union Stadium Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. City College beat Chabot College 6-5. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])

Three recent stars on the City College Panthers baseball team have emerged from the local program and are rising through the ranks of professional baseball. 

They join more than 40 other Panthers alumni who have gone on to work for a number of different Major League Baseball organizations since the 1940s.

This year’s MLB draft began June 11 and saw three former Panthers turn pro: Dennis Boatman, Ryan Costeiu and Marshall Hunt — all three of whom are prominent pitching prospects with impressive stat sheets.

Boatman, who played for City College from 2019-2020, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in round 17 (510 overall). Boasting an ERA of 2.47, Boatman’s City College resume made him stand out as a prospect. 

He only allowed 13 walks in 55 innings pitched in his City College career, making him a notable catch for the Reds. Boatman currently plays for the Reds’ minor league team, the Arizona Complex League Reds, and has won two games out of three with the team.

City College’s Ryan Costeiu (34) pitches seven innings with 12 strikeouts against Folsom Lake College at Union Stadium at City College Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Folsom Lake defeated City College 3-0. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])

Ryan Costeiu was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh round (201 overall) and plays for their Low-A affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers in San Bernardino. 

Costeiu is happy about getting drafted by the Angels.

 “It’s cool, man. I am now a minor leaguer, but I am paid by the Angels organization to play baseball,” Costeiu said.

The Angels did something this year that no team in history ever has: They drafted nothing but pitchers for all 20 picks in the draft. 

“The Angels need pitchers badly. I mean, they did something never done before and drafted all pitchers,” Costeiu said. 

“I fit some kind of mold,” Costeiu said, referring to why he believes he was drafted. “Some organizations value different talents in different ways. I throw hard, and that’s something being valued more in the game today.” 

In his NCAA and Low-A career, he boasts an ERA of 4.75 and a win-loss ratio of 7.50. 

“Throwing hard is always what I want to improve. I would like to work more on the average day to day. The college schedule is a lot different compared to where I am now, so it will take a lot of adjusting,” Costeiu said. “It’s the biggest stage you can be on, you know?”

Joining the Angels places a lot of expectation on a rookie player. The Angels haven’t had a positive record since 2015 and haven’t won a championship since 2002.

Their current roster features three of the best players in the game today: Mike Trout (three-time AL MVP and then some), Anthony Rendon (two-time Silver Slugger and 2019 champion), and current AL MVP favorite Shohei Ohtani. 

Sports stars appear as larger-than-life figures, and the Angels roster features a few. Costeiu believes “The overly big (idolization) of like Mike Trout — he’s just a teammate. They are teammates, and they are regular people at the end of the day.”

Costeiu played for the City College team from 2018-2020. 

“To this point, my time at Sac City has been my favorite part of my career so far. My coaches and teammates elevated me to the place I am now,” Costeiu said.

Legacy is how a player is remembered in sports. It is all that a player can continue to contribute to the game once they retire. Even as a rookie, it is on Costeiu’s mind.

“Yeah, money is cool, and a championship is cool too, but honestly, my No. 1 goal —  being a really good person is the one thing I want. That’s what most of the guys I have talked to have said, too.”

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Marshall Hunt was signed by the Houston Astros after the draft and plays for the Florida Complex League Astros. Hunt had a 4.56 ERA in his college career with a .5 win-loss ratio. Hunt also joins an already competitive Astros team as they are having a strong season this year with 86 wins to their 60 losses. The Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 to win the championship and have been prominent contenders since.

Hunt has been a prospect on account of his ability to manipulate pitches well. 

“I believe I was selected because I consistently improved with the help of the Sac City coaching staff,” Hunt said. “I stand out because I am able to get lots of movement on all of my pitches.” 

Hunt believes that City College has played a huge role in elevating him to where he is today. 

“Sac City gave me the tools and insight needed to hone my skills and mental game,” Hunt said. “I don’t think another program could have prepared me more for professional baseball.”

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