BERKELEY - Cal baseball fans will have a rooting interest when the Cincinnati Reds host St. Louis on Tuesday after the announcement that 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year Tony Renda has earned his first promotion to the Major Leagues.
Renda, who helped Cal make its historic run to the 2011 College World Series and led the Golden Bears in hitting in both 2010 and 2011, will join the Reds after spending the last five seasons working his way through the minors. Between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville, Renda is hitting .315 this season with 35 RBI and 34 extra-base hits.
A native of Hillsborough, Calif., Renda became the fourth player in Cal history (now five with the addition of Brett Cumberland in 2016) to earn Conference Player of the Year honors after a sophomore season in which he hit .331 with a team-leading 44 RBI as the 2011 Bears won 38 games and made it to the College World Series for the sixth time in program history.
He closed his Cal career in 2012 by hitting .342 and earning All-America status before being drafted in the second round of the MLB First Year Player Draft by the Washington Nationals. Since then, Renda has also spent time in the New York Yankees organization and in December was included as part of a trade that sent All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to the Bronx. In Cincinnati, Renda will play for another Golden Bear in Cal Athletic Hall of Famer and current Reds manager Bryan Price.
A career .290 hitter as a professional, Renda is the fifth Cal player to appear on a Major League roster in 2016. Former teammate Marcus Semien is enjoying a breakout year as the starting shortstop for the Oakland A's with 22 home runs and 50 RBI entering Tuesday’s games. Mark Canha is on Oakland's 40-man roster but on the 60-day disabled list while pitchers Erik Johnson and Tyson Ross are also on the disabled list as members of the San Diego Padres. Seven more former Bears are on Triple-A rosters as of Tuesday's games and 23 Cal products are playing in the minor leagues.
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