On Friday, for the third time in his life, Gio Brusa had his name called by a Major League Baseball organization on draft day.
After being drafted by the Braves in the 37th round (1139th overall) in 2012 as a high school senior and in the 23rd round (701st overall) by the Cardinals as a junior last year, and opting for school both times, Brusa will finally enter the world of professional baseball as the sixth-round pick (185th overall) by the San Francisco Giants.
Unlike many children in the Northern California region, Brusa, a Lodi resident who attended St. Mary’s High School before playing for University of the Pacific, did not grow up a Giants fan.
“I actually grew up a Yankees fan. However, today that has changed,” Brusa said. “My dad’s always been a Giants fan. My grandfather was always a Yankees fan.”
Brusa’s grandfather, Seldon Brusa, knew former Yankee great Frank Crosetti, who settled in Stockton after his playing days.
Gio Brusa isn’t quite sure where he will start in the Giants’ organization, but the first step will be to get a contract signed, then head to the team’s spring training facility in Arizona for physicals. He said he expects to be in Arizona by sometime next week.
The MLB slot bonus value for the 185th pick is $262,700. The league assigns a value for each pick in the top 10 rounds, and each team has a bonus pool based on its picks. When a team pays a player over that slot value, it counts against the bonus pool.
When Brusa was drafted a year ago, one of his main reasons for choosing to stay at Pacific was to get his degree in communications. This spring, Brusa had enough credits to walk at graduation, but still needs a couple of classes to complete his degree. That will have to wait.
But going back for his senior year is a decision he would make again.
“100 percent,” he said. “My family’s prayers were that god will make it an easy decision, and there’s no better message than when you’re a senior, and there’s no going back.”
Brusa led the West Coast Conference in on-base percentage (.418) and slugging percentage (.614), earning first-team all-WCC honors. He batted .337 with 14 home runs, 14 doubles and 46 RBIs for a Tigers team that went 22-30. In four years, he played 185 games in a Pacific uniform, with a career college batting average of .286, with 25 home runs, 47 doubles and 122 RBIs.