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MLB: Bumper crop of Jewish draftees

A total of 614 players were drafted in the Major League Baseball draft this year. According to Jewish Baseball News, six of them are Jewish.

Zack Gelof bats during a World Baseball Classic game between Venezuela and Israel, March 15, 2023, in Miami. (Rob Tringali/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Scott Barancik, the site’s editor, said six picks in 20 rounds is a fairly high number.

Jake Gelof, 60th overall

Taken in the second round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jake Gelof is a power-hitting third baseman who just concluded a record-setting career at the University of Virginia. 

Gelof’s older brother Zack, also a UVA alum, was drafted 60th overall in 2021 and is the No. 3 prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization. Zack represented Team Israel in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, and the two brothers are likely to play for Israel in the 2026 WBC.

Zach Levenson, 158th overall

Outfielder Levenson was taken in the fifth round out of the University of Miami, joining the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Levenson was ranked 204th in MLB’s prospect rankings.

Lucas Braun, 189th overall

The first of two Jewish pitchers drafted this year, Lucas Braun was taken in the sixth round by the Atlanta Braves. Braun finished his college career with two seasons at California State University. The Los Angeles native was named to the All-Big West Second Team in 2022 and 2023.

RJ Schreck, 277th overall

A fellow LA native, RJ Schreck played for Vanderbilt University as a graduate student after four years at Duke University. The 23-year-old outfielder was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the ninth round. Schreck graduated from the same LA high school as Jewish Braves ace Max Fried.

Ben Simon, 396th overall

The New Jersey native pitched at Elon University for three years, mostly as a reliever. Simon, 21, was named to the 2022 All-CAA Second Team for the Colonial Athletic Assn. conference. He was selected in the 13th round by the New York Mets.

Will King, 609th overall

New York City native Will King was selected in the final round by the Braves. He was named the First Team All-ASUN Conference catcher his sophomore year and the Second Team catcher his junior year.

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