Three more Aztecs hear their names called on final day of MLB Draft

Aztecs

Credit: Go Aztecs

Credit: Go Aztecs

The San Diego State Aztecs baseball program closed out the 2021 MLB draft, with three more players being selected on the final day. Matt Rudick, Jaden Fein, and Michael Paredes all heard their names called, and that makes it five Aztecs in the draft. Troy Melton received a lot of attention during the season but ultimately did not hear his name called.

The New York Mets snagged Rudick in the 13th round with the 382nd overall pick. This a quality pick by the front office of the new regime under Steven Cohen. Rudick has an elite feel for the strike zone, highlighted by his 26 walks and nine strikeouts. It is a common theme for all the Aztec draftees to post career highs en route to being drafted. He posted a .410/.484/.567 slash with four home runs, eight doubles, and four triples. That .410 batting average ranks 11th in D1 baseball.

On top of being a great lefty batter, he also did a great job patrolling centerfield and had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. He has the skills to remain in center, although he doesn’t possess the strongest arm. Overall this is a valuable pick for his knowledge of the zone and bat-to-ball skills.

Here are some highlights from the 2021 season:

 

The next Aztecs player to be drafted was Jaden Fein. The Nationals potentially had the best value pick of the draft when they selected him in the 15th round, 443rd overall. Fein ranked 23rd nationally in batting average and 16th in hits per game. Right from the start, Fein was tearing through the Mountain West Conference. In turn, he won four Mountain West Player of the Year awards and was also placed on the midseason Golden Spikes watch list.

Credit: Go Aztecs

Fein ended the season with a .389/.411/.553 slash line. He was in a great position to bat over .400, but three straight road series took their toll, and he slipped below that mark in the last two games of the season.

When interviewing him, he mentioned how he admired how Christian Yelich plays the game. The comparison is actually pretty accurate. Both come in at 6’3” and around 200 pounds, and both can nicely lock down the corner outfield spots. Fein posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage while showing impressive range for his size. Their bats also hold some similarities as both have a great ability to hit for average. Yelich became an MVP when he found his power with the Brewers. Fein already hits the ball hard, and with help from his new coaching staff, he might tap into more power.

Here are some of Fein’s 2021 season highlights:

 

The final Aztecs player to be selected in the draft was Michael Paredes. The Minnesota  Twins drafted him in the 18th round, 549th overall. In the 2021 season, he was one of SDSU’s best pitchers. He finished the season with a 5.59 ERA, although he had a 2.56 ERA after six starts. A few bad starts largely inflated that high ERA. Of his 14 starts, he gave up three or fewer runs in 10 of them.

This season he showed massive improvements controlling the flow of the game. He had career lows in hits per nine innings (9.5) and walks per nine (2.1). Pitching was the biggest flaw of SDSU last season, but he was the most dependable piece.

Here are some highlights of his 2021 season:

Overall, it was a good day for San Diego State Aztecs baseball players, and it will be worth monitoring their progress at the big league level.

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Evan Anderson on Twitter
Evan Anderson
Evan is a student finishing up a degree in Finance from Northern Arizona University. The ability to break down numbers and find the story behind them has lead to his first of writing for East Village times. He covers baseball which is the sport he grew up playing and has followed even after his playing years.

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