On Wednesday, a bit of magic happened in Eric Cendejas' life. He was visiting Anaheim, his hometown, and later on the day, he was walking around the city's main attraction, Disneyland — the most magical place in the world, according to numerous advertisements.
It wasn't a total coincidence that he was there, considering the kind of news the Cal State Stanislaus senior pitcher heard that day: In the 33rd round and on the third and final day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, Cendejas was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as the 1,014th selection.
It was the perfect scenario for Cendejas, who was born in Anaheim, grew up about 20-something minutes away in Corona and played two seasons at nearby Santa Ana College before landing at Stanislaus for his final two college seasons. He's the fifth Warrior to be drafted in the last three years, joining pitchers Dakota Watts (Minnesota) and Eric Federico (Colorado) and outfielder Kyle Loretelli (San Diego) from last year and pitcher Marquis Fleming (Tampa Bay) in 2008 on the exclusive list.
For Cendejas, this is a special moment.
“I've been watching them all my life,” he said of his hometown Angels.
He had a standout junior season at Stanislaus, highlighted by his 1.80 ERA — a school record — in 19 appearances, finishing with a 4-1 record, five saves and 33 strikeouts in 35 innings.
In his two seasons, Cendejas posted a 3.93 ERA with a 5-7 record, plus three saves, and 53 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings.
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