It was announced earlier today that the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball selected University of Redlands senior catcher Rainier Aguilar (San Bernardino, CA) in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft on Wednesday afternoon.
Aguilar is Redlands' first draft pick since Tom Bennett, who was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round of the 1995 draft.
"I am so blessed and grateful for this opportunity," said Aguilar. "I am thankful for every single person in my life who has helped me get here, [including] my parents, my friends, and especially my coaches. I'm super thankful for what Coach Holley, Coach RG [Ryan Garcia], Coach Jerry, and all of the Bulldog baseball family have helped me achieve."
Over the course of the 2018 campaign, Aguilar put up outstanding numbers while resetting the Redlands single-season record with 22 doubles, which also places him fifth in NCAA Division III. He also finished the season with a .327 batting average and a team-leading 48 RBI, 56 hits, and 38 runs scored.
Defensively, Aguilar threw out nine would-be base-stealers, racked up 292 putouts and 33 assists, and held a .972 fielding percentage.
As a four-year Bulldog, he finished his outstanding career with 137 hits, including 39 doubles, for a batting average of .360. He knocked in 100 RBI and registered a slugging percentage of .509. While serving as Redlands' primary backstop throughout the latter part of his career, he recorded 592 putouts and 69 assists for an impressive .985 fielding percentage. With a quick release, he also fired down 22 attempted base-stealers.
Aguilar's career at Redlands culminated in an All-America nod, a pair of All-West Region honors, and two All-SCIAC awards, as well as being named the D3baseball.com's 2017 Gold Glove Catcher of the Year.
"Rainier has had a great career here at Redlands and his hard work has culminated in an opportunity to play professional baseball," Head Baseball Coach Aaron Holley stated. "He was the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove winner last year and our team MVP, and was a big part of the success we had as a team this year. Rainier will do a great job, and we know that he will represent the Bulldogs with class and character."