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(Editor’s note: Coverage of the 2013 MLB amateur draft is a collaboration between Jewish Baseball News and our friends at Jewish Sports Review, a bi-monthly newsletter that tracks Jewish athletes in multiple sports around the globe. Click here for subscription information.)

By Scott Barancik, editor

Two days ago we told you about high-school pitcher Rob Kaminsky, whom the St. Louis Cardinals selected in the 1st round of the 2013 MLB draft (see article).

Now, we would like to introduce you to 10 other Jewish players who were drafted last week. Here are the ten, listed in draft order:

Mason Katz, 22

  • St. Louis Cardinals (4th round, 125th overall pick)
  • Hometown: Harahan, LA
  • Position: 2B
  • School: LSU (senior)
  • Factoid: thru 6/8/2013, led the 2013 College World Series-bound LSU Tigers in HRs (15), RBIs (68), on-base percentage (.454), slugging (.630), and ranks second in average (.366)

Zack Weiss, 20

  • Cincinnati Reds (6th round, 195th overall pick)
  • Hometown: Irvine, CA
  • Position: RHP
  • School: UCLA (junior)
  • Factoid: thru 6/8/2013, was 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in 41 relief appearances

Brad Goldberg, 23

  • Chicago White Sox (10th round, 303rd overall pick)
  • Hometown: Beachwood, OH
  • Position: RHP
  • School: Ohio State (redshirt senior)
  • Factoid: named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week twice in 2013

Alec Grosser, 18

  • Atlanta Braves (11th round, 343rd pick overall)
  • Hometown: Alexandria, VA
  • Position: RHP
  • School: T.C. Williams High School (Alexandria, VA)
  • Factoid: a late-blooming pitcher better known as his high school’s quarterback

Ryan Kinsella, 21

  • Arizona Diamondbacks (18th round, 540th overall)
  • Hometown: Warren, NJ
  • Position: 1B
  • School: Elon University (junior)
  • Factoid: named 2013 Southern Conference Baseball Player of the Year

Adam Landecker, 22

  • Pittsburgh Pirates (21st round, 629th overall)
  • Hometown: Calabasas, CA
  • Position: 2B
  • School: USC (senior)
  • Factoid: hit .351 in 2013, second-best in Southeastern Conference

Henry Hirsch, 20

  • Pittsburgh Pirates (22nd round, 659th overall)
  • Hometown: Scarsdale, NY
  • Position: RHP
  • School: University of New Haven (junior)
  • Factoid: only UNH player drafted by an MLB team since 2008

Sam Finfer, 18

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (29th round, 874th overall)
  • Hometown: Bellevue, WA
  • Position: C
  • School: Interlake High School (Bellevue, WA)
  • Factoid: hit .357 with three HRS, 23 RBIs, and a .520 on-base percentage in 2013

Tyger Pederson, 23

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (33rd round, 994th overall)
  • Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
  • Position: 2B
  • School: University of the Pacific (senior)
  • Factoid: older brother of Joc Pederson, currently ranked the Dodgers’ No.3 prospect

Jesse Weiss, 22

  • Milwaukee Brewers (36th round, 1,082nd overall)
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
  • Position: 1B
  • School: Kenyon College (senior)
  • Factoid: at Kenyon College, ranks top five in career batting average, RBIs, hits, runs, doubles, and total bases

The current tally of players identified as Jewish in the 2013 MLB draft stands at 11. Stay tuned for future announcements from Jewish Baseball News and Jewish Sports Review.

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Richard Stock, Cleveland Indians prospect

Richard Stock (

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By Zev Ben Avigdor/Jewish Baseball News

We at Jewish Baseball News didn’t know about 22-year-old catcher Richard Stock until recently, when the Cleveland Indians prospect proclaimed his ancient heritage via the most modern of ways: Twitter.

“Best part of being Jewish is macaroons,” he Tweeted. 

Raised with four brothers and sisters in the Seattle suburbs and Westlake Village, Calif., Stock played at three colleges in three years before Cleveland grabbed him in the 23rd round of the 2012 amateur draft. He spent his rookie minor-league season with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Class A/short season), where he played in 22 games and hit .295, third-highest on the team. 

Stock needn’t look far for baseball advice. His older brother Robert Stock was a second-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2009 draft and played catcher until the franchise moved him onto the pitcher’s mound last year. 

After a brief exchange of Tweets, Richard was kind enough to grant me an interview. An edited transcript follows. But before you forget, please wish him a happy birthday today (Feb. 8). You can find Richard at


I was born in Issaquah, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, and I went to pre-school at the Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island. Then we moved down to the suburbs of Los Angeles when I was five, and I started going to kindergarten and Hebrew school at Temple Etz Chaim.

You tweeted about macaroons. What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Rosh Hashanah—apples and honey. That was my favorite treat as a kid, having the little packets of honey at the temple. I still make that for breakfast a couple times a week.

Keeping the Rosh Hashanah spirit around all year?

Yeah, I don’t know about the spirit. More just taking advantage of the delicious treat.

So which do you like best, then: macaroons, or apples and honey?

Well, I hadn’t had a macaroon in forever, and my friend had some at his house, and I totally forgot about macaroons, and on a whim I sent out that tweet and—I don’t know—there doesn’t have to be one best part of being Jewish.

True. So what else do you like best about being Jewish?

The people. It’s a good culture to identify with. Three thousand years of tradition from Moses to Sandy Koufax. That’s from The Big Lebowski, one of my favorite movies.

Sandy Koufax is going to be at spring training this year not far from you. Are you going to look for him?

I might have to make a little road trip. We were definitely Mariner fans growing up in Seattle, but my grandpa always talks about Hank Greenberg and Koufax and all the old-time Jewish greats.

Tell us about your grandfather.

He has been a Jew his whole life, but he’d never been Bar Mitzvah’d when he was young, so he just recently got Bar Mitzvah’d up in Seattle a couple years ago, well into his 70’s. That was one of his proudest moments. . . he always wears the Star of David and we celebrate Chanukah and Passover, but he had never been Bar Mitzvah’d as a child, and he always wanted to have that happen.

Where did you and your family celebrate Passover?

At a friend’s house in Northridge, Eli Gluck. His family is also Jewish, so we go over there and talk about baseball and have a nice seder. He played with us in high school and when we were young , but he had three arm surgeries, so it didn’t work out for him, but definitely a Jewish baseball player growing up with us.

And you had a Jewish teammate at USC.

Yeah, Adam Landecker. He’s now a senior at USC, great baseball player. He can hit straight up and he’s got a good glove. He’s scrappy—a Dustin Pedroia type.

And you have a brother who plays minor-league baseball in the Cardinals organization.

Yeah, Robert got up to High-A two years ago as a catcher, and then he was just recently converted to a pitcher, so he got sent down to Low-A. [Editor’s note: Robert Stock went 5-2 with a 4.56 ERA for the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2012.] He pitched very well at USC, splitting time between catching and pitching.

Your friend, [Seattle Mariners prospect] Jack Marder, recently played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers. What would it be like to play for them four years from now in the next WBC?

That’d be a great honor—not to mention a good experience playing against some of the best competition in the world. It would be awesome to put on that jersey. That would be the experience of a lifetime.

Next stop in the Indians’ organization is Lake County. There’s a big Jewish community there, and they do Jewish heritage night every year. What would it be like to be on the field for that?

That would be a blast. Do we get to wear yarmulkes? But seriously, that’s the great part about the minor leagues: all of the fun nights that we get to have.

MahoningValley has the craziest promotions. What was your favorite?

Every Tuesday was dollar beer night, which we don’t get to partake in, but the fans show up in droves, and they’re—um—quite enthusiastic every Tuesday.

Last question: what would you like the readers of Jewish Baseball News to know about you?

Besides that I exist?

That’s a start. What about a favorite story?

This story doesn’t really accentuate my Jewish heritage, but I hit a home run on my first college pitch, at USC. That was probably the highlight of my career. I was just hanging out in the bullpen and got called on to pinch-hit in the 9th with two outs, and on the first pitch of my career I hit a home run and then everyone told me to retire, because it’s only downhill from there. I can’t say they were wrong. My OPS was 5.000, so yeah, my OPS went down a bit.

And other than your OPS, how’s it been so far?

It’s been a dream come true. I love all my teammates in the minors and from all three colleges—yeah, so far it’s been a beautiful ride, and I hope to keep it going.

(Editor’s note: “Zev Ben Avigdor” is the pen name of a university scholar who writes for Jewish Baseball News. Click here to see more of Zev’s interviews.)

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