(photo credit: MARGO SUGARMAN)
Israel senior national team member Dean Kremer became the first Israeli to ever be selected in the Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday, being chosen by the San Diego Padres with the 1,137th pick in the 38th round.
Kremer, who plays for San Joaquin Delta College in California, is among 15 Jewish players drafted this year.
Kremer, who was born and raised in Stockton, California, was one of the stars of last year’s national team that won Pool C at the European Championships in Slovenia in August.
“Dean has been part of the baseball program in Israel since he was 14 years old,” said Nate Fish, national director of the Israel Association of Baseball. “We are all very proud to have a member of the Israel national team be selected in the draft and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy."
In addition to Kremer, the Houston Astros selected Alex Bregman, also Jewish, as the second overall pick in the draft, good enough to earn an expected bonus of $7.4 million.
A 21-year-old junior shortstop on the top-ranked LS U Tigers, Bregman was expected to go anywhere from No. 2 through No. 7 in the first round. The Albuquerque native has won a host of awards over the years, including USA Baseball Player of the Year at age 16, Baseball America’s National Freshman of the Year in 2013, and the Brooks Wallace Award for National Shortstop of the Year in 2013.
The Boston Red Sox chose Bregman out of high school in the 29th round of the 2012 draft, but he chose college instead.