Lucas Erceg Selected 46th Overall In The 2016 MLB Draft
Since stepping foot on campus, Lucas Erceg has drawn national attention to both himself and the Menlo College baseball program for his professional level playing ability. Read More
Max Dutto Selected In The 9th Round, By The Chicago White Sox
Menlo College Baseball shortstop Max Dutto became the second player from the team drafted in the top 10 rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft when he was chosen by the Chicago White Sox in the 9th round, 266th overall. Read More
Jake McKinley enters his fourth season as head coach of the Menlo College baseball program in 2016-17. In three seasons at the helm, McKinley has lead the Oaks to a 97-72 overall record. In 2015, Menlo won 33 regular season games, the most in program history. They followed it up with a 35 win season in 2016, the most wins in a single season in Menlo baseball history. In 2016, the Oaks broke the school record for home runs in a season, finishing sixth in the nation with 57 total home runs and 12 different players tallying a longball.
A number of awards have been bestowed upon student-athletes during McKinley’s tenure including: a Conference Player of the Year, seven All-Conference honorees, two NAIA All-Americans, six Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, and two Capital One Academic All-District selections – the first in program history.
Under McKinley’s tutelage, three players have heard their names called in the MLB draft in just the last two seasons. In 2016, third baseman Lucas Erceg became the top selection of any NAIA player in the nation when he was taken in the second round, 46th overall, by the Milwaukee Brewers. Shortstop Max Dutto also cracked the top ten rounds of the 2016 draft when he was taken by the Chicago White Sox. In 2015, junior catcher Daniel Comstock was selected in the 18th round, 526th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 MLB Draft.
After spending a pair of season as the hitting coach at Southwest Minnesota State University, Trevor Paine joins the Menlo College coaching staff as the Hitting and Bench Coach. While at Southwest Minnesota, Trevor also worked with the outfielders in addition to developing the team’s hitters. During the 2013-2014 seasons, Trevor was an assistant coach for Sacramento State. He was a member of the 2014 staff that finished with 40 wins and a berth in the San Luis Obispo Regional.
His collegiate baseball career saw him play at Sacramento State where he played his final two seasons under Menlo head coach Jake McKinley. He began his time as a Hornet as a member of the pitching staff until making the transition to a position player during his junior year. That first season in the field he hit .381 with 10 homeruns and 44 runs batted in, earning him First Team All-WAC honors. He continued his success at the plate the following year where he hit .308 and had a .997 field percentage between both first base and left field.
About Trevor, Coach McKinley states, “When our hitting job came open, Trevor was the first guy that came to mind. He is as hard of worker as I have ever coached with and his knowledge of the swing and hitting in general is advanced beyond his years. He has the type of personality and energy that will continually strengthen the culture of our hitters.”
A native of Aiea, Hawaii, Dane Fujinaka played for Mid Pacific High School under Dunn Muramaru, arguably the best high school coach in Hawaii history. In high school, he hit .403 as a senior and made All-State honors as a catcher in both his junior and senior years. Fujinaka went along to earn himself a scholarship for Sacramento State in 2011 where he played there for the next 4 years under Reggie Christiansen.
Following his redshirt year, Fujinaka started all 59 games of the season behind the plate in 2013 as the Hornets posted a 34-25 record. In 2014 Fujinaka helped lead Sacramento State to a 40-24 season and its first ever Western Athletic Conference Championship where they went on to the San Luis Obispo Regional and beat #18 Arizona State. Fujinaka hit .283 that year and caught a record breaking pitching staff with a 3.27 era and .240 opponent batting average.
After the 2015 season he transferred to Menlo College. At Menlo, Fujinaka called every pitch for the Oak pitching staff behind the plate. Menlo got national attention for leading all of collegiate baseball in homeruns for most of the 2016 season. Fujinaka graduated from Menlo in 2016 with a degree in sports management.
A graduate of Cupertino High School in 2005, Tai Mitchell lettered two years in high school at Cupertino High School. He was named SCUAL All-League as well as team-MVP during his senior year. From there he spent two seasons playing baseball at De Anza College where he excelled at the junior college level. He earned Male Scholar of the Year honors in 2007 and then transferred over to Kansas University in 2008 to catch for the Jayhawks. His two year-stint as a player culminated with him serving as a student manager during the 2009 season. Upon earning his degree in Sport Science at Kansas, he returned to De Anza College to begin his official coaching stint as an assistant coach.
His coaching experience extends much beyond his time at De Anza College as he quickly returned to Kansas University in 2011 to enroll in a graduate program for his Master of Science in Sport Science. While getting through the two-year program, Tai was a graduate student manager for the Jayhawks where he reported to the Head Coach in assisting with administrative tasks and student-athlete management. Staying with the Jayhawks after his graduation, he became the Director of Baseball Operations for Kansas University. During his one-year stint in this position he oversaw every angle of the baseball program while assisting coaches with administrative and on-field tasks. He was also heavily involved with recruiting for the Jayhawks and organized youth baseball camps and tournaments.
In June of 2013, Tai accepted the role of assistant coach for the Chillicothe Mudcats of the MINK Summer Collegiate League. His one year as assistant quickly evolved into him becoming the head coach of the baseball team starting in 2014, a spot that he would hold for three summers. At the same time Tai accepted a position as the assistant baseball coach for Fort Scott Community College in 2014. Tai is a native of Santa Clara, California.
Student Director of Operations
Evan Kauffman returns to Menlo College for the 2016-17 season as the Director of Baseball Operations, a position he has held since 2015. During his time as a student in this position, he has coordinated partnerships resulting in the donation of gear for players and helped coordinate Menlo Baseball’s First Pitch Dinner. His efforts in the Dinner resulted in about $40,000 being raised for the baseball program during the wildly successful event.
His experience with baseball extends beyond Menlo, having spent the summer of 2016 in two different roles. First, he was an Agent Intern at Beverly Hills Sports Council, where he identified minor league baseball prospects who could become Baseball America Top 30 prospects. He also compiled statistics of prospects for future draft classes and coordinated schedules for agents to watch clients. He also took on the role of Associate Scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball in February of 2016. While in the organization, Evan wrote reports on Northern California prospects, created videos, and reported to other scouts in the area.
In the summer of 2015, Evan held another two positions that helped him get valuable experience in the industry. He was an assistant to the coaching staff for UC Irvine baseball where he provided scouting reports on prospects, opponents, and was a camp counselor for their youth baseball program. He was also an assistant at Elite Baseball Series where he once again got experience scouting players and compiling player information for database.