Former Turlock High Bulldog and recent UCLA shortstop Kevin Kramer was selected 62nd overall in the second round of the MLB Draft on Monday by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After missing the entirety of the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury, Kramer returned to play in 2015 and helped lead UCLA to a PAC 12 title. The Turlocker also led the Bruins in four categories with 55 scored runs, 82 hits, 36 walks and seven home runs.
“We knew where to expect to get drafted. We were thinking anywhere from rounds two through four, that's where we were expecting to be picked,” Kramer said. “It bested our expectations because it looked like I wasn't going to go in the second round, but when Pittsburgh called and when they finally made that pick, it was awesome.”
A week removed from a season finale loss against the University of Maryland in the NCAA Regionals, Kramer was with his parents in Turlock when his name was announced. It wasn't a complete surprise, however, as an area scout with the Pirates called Kramer 15 minutes prior to the announcement to inform him of his selection.
“It was definitely a cool experience to have my family next to me, because they're the ones who have made this possible. It was crazy, just complete excitement. They were all crying and hugging each other,” Kramer said.“The day before the draft I think we were expecting the Mets or the Braves to take me, but a lot changes during the draft.
“I'm just thankful for the opportunity. I'm very excited to join the Pirates. They're a great organization, a great city, and I look forward to getting to work. To get to the big leagues whenever I can is the goal,” he added.
Kramer is expected to sign his contract early next week, after which he will find out which of the six Pirates' affiliates he will be assigned to.
“I know that the minor leagues is tough and it's tough to break into the major leagues, but that's the goal and it's always been my dream and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get there,” Kramer said. “The only thing I can really control is how I play. I expect to play well.”