June 8, 2006
A's take Jukich in Round 13
Former Duluth Denfeld standout Ben Jukich was
taken by the Oakland Athletics in Round 13 of the Major League Baseball
Jukich was sleeping when the selection was announced
on the radio. His afternoon snooze didn't last long as a large contingent
of friends and family members erupted, waking up the 6-foot-5, 190-pound
"I woke up to a whole chorus of screams,"
Jukich said. "I didn't even know what had happened, and then
Oakland called me. I don't even know what to say. Oh my gosh. I'm
Jukich, the 22nd pick in Round 13 and the 398th
pick overall, can expect a signing bonus of around $50,000 based
on previous drafts.
Jukich went 10-5 with a 1.90 ERA for Dakota Wesleyan
University in Mitchell, S.D. He led the NAIA in strikeouts with
144 in 94 2/3 innings, including a Wesleyan record 17 in one game.
Opponents batted just .214 against the NAIA All-American,
and he had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 9.6. Besides a fastball
clocked as high as 92 mph, he has a slider, split-finger fastball
Jukich plans on staying sharp by playing with
the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League before checking in
with one of Oakland's minor-league affiliates. He was still smarting
after losing a pitching duel to former Superior standout Keith Ritsche
in the Duluth Huskies' 2-1 victory over the Honkers on Saturday.
"This gets the bad taste out of my mouth
from Saturday, no doubt about it," Jukich said. "I have
a million people calling me. This is great."