Standout Baseball Pitchers Jonah Dipoto and Ted Stuka Sign First Professional Contracts With MLB Teams
LA JOLLA, Calif. - University of California San Diego standouts Ted Stuka and Jonah Dipoto have signed their first professional contracts in recent days with the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, respectively, of Major League Baseball (MLB).
Both now-former Tritons are hard-throwing right-handed pitchers from Newport Beach who were second-time MLB First-Year Player Draft selections back on June 5.
Stuka (Corona del Mar HS) thus will forgo his final season of college eligibility. The Tigers' 14th-round pick (No. 412), he had until Friday, July 12, at 2 p.m. PT to either sign or return to UC San Diego for a fourth and final campaign. Dipoto (Newport Harbor HS), a four-year Triton, was chosen in the 35th round (No. 1039).
Dipoto signed on the dotted line at the Royals' Spring Training facility in Surprise, Ariz., last Tuesday, June 18. Stuka inked his contract at Detroit's TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla., on Monday, June 24.
Dipoto will remain in Surprise to begin his pro career with the AZL Royals of the rookie-level Arizona League (AZL). Stuka will likewise stay in Lakeland with the GCL Tigers West of the rookie Gulf Coast League (GCL).
Stuka was UC San Diego's highest draft selection in 30 years. He earned his first All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) distinction this past season, as a member of the second team.
Stuka leaves UC San Diego at 6-4 with three saves and a 4.53 earned run average across 36 outings, five of them starting assignments. He struck out 108 in 93.1 innings. Dipoto's career numbers include an 11-12 win-loss record, 4.80 ERA, 19 starts among 70 appearances, five saves, and 115 strikeouts over 163.0 frames.
Dipoto and Stuka helped UC San Diego to back-to-back-to-back 40-win seasons and West Region titles, with the Tritons finishing as national runners-up in 2017, as well as a record seventh CCAA Tournament banner in 2018, and a first CCAA regular-season crown since 2012 this past May.
Nine Tritons have had their names called during the MLB First-Year Player Draft over head coach Eric Newman's eight seasons in charge. This edition marked a second straight with multiple UC San Diego selections for the first time in program history, after a record four in 2018.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Baseball, follow on Twitter (@UCSDbsb) and Instagram (@ucsd_baseball). Head coach Eric Newman is also on Twitter (@CoachEricNewman).