Blessed with a cool-sounding name, California 3B Mitch Delfino is having an impressive junior season for the Pac-12 Golden Bears baseball team. He was a member of the Willmar Stingers for their first two years of franchise existence in the Northwoods League. Delfino through 18 games has posted a .350 batting average, second on the team behind 2B Tony Renda’s mark of .353. Delfino has hit two homers on the season and leads the Bears with a .533 slugging percentage, is second in On-Base Percentage with .426, and has driven in 10 runs thus far while manning the proverbial “hot corner.” On the season, the California Golden Bears have a team batting average of .280. The junior third baseman plays for a successful collegiate program as his Cal Golden Bears squad reached the College World Series last year, which delayed his summer arrival to Willmar. On June 19th, Delfino recorded two hits against Virginia LHP Danny Hultzen, the second overall draft pick of the Seattle Mariners. A native of Cloverdale, CA, Delfino went 4-4 with an RBI and two runs scored on August 6 in a 5-3 Willmar Stingers win over the Mankato Moondogs.
Cal’s journey to the College World Series was an incredible story. It was even more remarkable considering the obstacles the team encountered in even positioning themselves for an impressive postseason run. The school made their first College World Series appearance since 1992, months after their program faced elimination. In an effort spearheaded by former MLB All-Star Jeff Kent, team supporters raised the proper amount of funds to ensure the survival of the program.
Delfino has gained over 20 pounds of muscle since last playing for the Stingers on August 14th of last year. Although he wasn’t drafted out of high school, the junior Delfino is draft-eligible for the MLB First-Year Player Draft in June. Mitch patrolled the hot corner for the Willmar Stingers in 2010, hitting .253 in 46 games played. He returned to Willmar in 2011 after his successful sophomore season as a member of the California Golden Bears baseball team. As a high school senior, Mitch was a member of the USA Today All-USA Second Team. In addition to his quick bat and defensive skills, Mitch was also a high school basketball standout at Cloverdale High School. He acquitted himself nicely to Pac-10 pitching as a freshman, hitting .315. His parents are Debbi and Charlie Delfino.