Fourth-year junior right-hander Bobby Ay is the first Cal Poly player chosen in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.
The El Toro High School graduate and native of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth round Tuesday.
Undrafted out of high school, Ay was 2-8 with one save and a 5.86 ERA in his first three seasons as a Mustang before becoming Cal Poly’s best starter this spring, compiling a 9-1 record and 3.27 ERA en route to All-Big West Conference first-team honors.
He finished third in the Big West in wins, 10th in ERA and seventh with his 74 strikeouts over 85 1/3 innings. Ay was Cal Poly’s starter all 15 weekends of the regular season, mostly on Saturdays.
His best two performances of the year were at Long Beach State when he struck out a career-high 10 Dirtbags over eight innings, his longest appearance on the mound in his Mustang career, in a 7-1 victory, and at UC Santa Barbara on the final weekend of the season as he struck out eight over seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits in a 3-0 shutout.
Ay also earned wins over Baylor, Saint Mary’s, Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis, USC, Hawai’i, UC Irvine, and UC Riverside. He was 6-1 with a 2.66 ERA in Big West games. All nine wins for the season were in the final 11 weeks of the campaign.
In 2018, Ay pitched in just one game, an opening weekend start against Oregon State, and tossed 2 2/3 innings, giving up five runs and three hits, before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. He received a medical redshirt.
Ay made 11 appearances on the mound as a sophomore in 2017, all starts, posting a 1-6 record and 5.40 ERA with 25 strikeouts over 46 2/3 innings. His lone victory was against Hawai’i as he tossed 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits with six strikeouts in the 7-1 triumph.
As a true freshman in 2016, Ay pitched in seven games, including three starts in midweek games, and compiled a 1-1 record and 5.91 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. He earned his first collegiate win against Santa Clara in early May, allowing one earned run and five hits over six innings with four strikeouts.
At El Toro High, Ay compiled a 6-0 record and 2.01 ERA during his senior season and played in the 2015 Orange County All-Star Game.
Ay, the 31st Cal Poly player drafted in the first 10 rounds in Larry Lee’s 17 seasons as head coach, was the 272nd overall selection and the 15th pick of the ninth round.
A total of 317 players have been drafted so far this week, with the first two rounds held Monday and rounds 3-10 conducted Tuesday. Rounds 11 through 40 (900 more players) will wrap up the draft on Wednesday.
–Provided by Cal Poly