Former Pine View pitching ace Donovan selected by Angels in Major League Baseball draft

In this screenshot image, Central Arizona College pitcher Dakota Donovan is seen being congratulated by teammates after winning the team's first game of the Junior College World Series against Monroe College, Grand Junction, Colo., May 25, 2019 | Image courtesy of Dakota Donovan via Twitter, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Pitcher Dakota Donovan was selected in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft earlier this week, marking a dream come true for the former St. George-area standout.

Dakota Donovan dominates on the mound for the Panthers, Pine View vs. Carbon, Baseball, St. George, Utah, May 14, 2015 | File photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Donovan, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound right-hander, was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 16th round of the draft Wednesday.

“It’s something I’ve been working for my whole life,” Donovan told St. George News. “I mean, ever since I can remember, playing with all my friends from St. George there since I was 10 years old, I’ve always dreamed of playing professional baseball. So, it’s big.”

Donovan is a 2016 graduate of Pine View High School, where he helped lead the Panthers to back-to-back state titles in 2015 and 2016. After redshirting for a year with Oregon State University, he now plays for Central Arizona College, which won the NJCAA Junior College World Series on June 1.

On Wednesday, just four days after the Vaqueros won their national championship, Donovan said he was following the final day of the MLB draft from his apartment in Arizona.

“I had been texting with one of the scouts from that team (the Angels), and he told me that I was likely going to be their next pick,” Donovan recalled. “I was just waiting for my name to pop up on the draft tracker on my laptop.”

Dakota Donovan pitches for the Central Arizona College Vaqueros during 2019 season, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Central Arizona College Athletics, St. George News

Donovan said he is excited to begin working with the Angels organization, which has several minor-league affiliates in its farm club system, including two in Utah, namely the Orem Owlz and the Salt Lake Bees.

Donovan said that while details are still being finalized, he expects to begin workouts with team officials soon.

“A lot of the entry-level stuff happens right here in Phoenix, Arizona,” he said.

“I plan to continue with finishing up my degree, but my main focus right now for the next few years is going to be baseball,” Donovan added. “I might do some classes in the off season and stuff, but as of this point right now, I’m going all in on the baseball.”

The Central Arizona College Vaqueros went 50-20 this season, including 5-1 in the Junior College World Series held in Grand Junction Colorado. They avenged their lone World Series loss, a 14-4 setback on May 28 to Iowa Western Community College, by coming from behind to defeat Iowa Western 13-8 in the championship game on June 1.

Dakota Donovan roster photo for Central Arizona College Vaqueros, 2019 season | Photo courtesy of Central Arizona College Athletics, St. George News

Donovan was the winning pitcher in Central Arizona’s 12-4 win over Monroe College to open the Junior College World Series on May 25, striking out 15 batters in seven innings of work. He also pitched the first eight innings of Central Arizona’s 12-5 win over Walters State Community College in the semifinals on May 30.

Donovan appeared in 24 games for Central Arizona this season, including 10 starts, posting a record of 6-3, with five saves. He led the Vaqueros in innings pitched with 85 ⅔ and had 108 strikeouts to just 19 walks.

In addition to Donovan, two other players with Southern Utah ties were drafted in the MLB draft earlier this week: right-handed pitcher Jayden Murray, a senior at Dixie State University, was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 23rd round; and Kayler Yates, who recently graduated from Dixie High School where he played shortstop, was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 31st round.

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