David Berg (pitcher)
|Born: March 28, 1993|
David Andrew Berg (born March 28, 1993) is an American professional baseball pitcher. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he played college baseball for the UCLA Bruins baseball team. He was named an All-American and Pac-12 Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year in 2013. He set a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record for saves in a single season with 24. The Texas Rangers selected Berg in the 17th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. He did not sign with the Rangers and returned to UCLA for his senior season. He was then drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
Berg attended Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, California, where he played for the school's baseball team as a pitcher. He struggled while attempting to work as a starting pitcher, and in his junior year, his coaches helped him achieve success as a middle relief pitcher when he learned to use the sidearm delivery. He led his school's baseball team to the sectional championship.
Berg was only recruited by the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Berg enrolled at UCLA, and walked on to the UCLA Bruins baseball team. In 2012, his freshman season, Berg set Bruins and Pac-12 Conference records for appearances while working in middle relief. As a sophomore, Berg became the closer for the 2013 UCLA Bruins, and pitched to a 7–0 win–loss record, 21 saves, and a 0.88 earned run average (ERA) during the regular season. His 21 saves set a Bruins record and his ERA tied for the best in college baseball. He was named the Pac-12 Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year and a finalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award in 2013. He won the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award. was named to the United States national collegiate baseball team in 2012 and 2013.
With the Bruins, Berg competed in the 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament, leading the team to the College World Series national championship against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bruins had a tournament record of 8–0 heading into the Finals. At the Championship Series, Berg set a new NCAA single-season record with his 24th save on June 24, 2013 and he also made his 51st appearance of the season, becoming the first pitcher in NCAA history to record 50 or more appearances in two seasons. The Bruins defeated the Bulldogs for the national title and Berg was named to the tournament's All-West Region team.
Berg missed time in his junior year due to a biceps strain. He finished the season with a 1.50 ERA and 11 saves. The Texas Rangers selected Berg in the 17th round, with the 516th overall selection, of the 2014 MLB Draft. He did not sign with the Rangers and returned to UCLA for his senior season.
On May 15, 2015, James Kaprielian combined with Berg for the first no-hitter in UCLA history. Kaprielian pitched the first nine innings and Berg pitched the tenth inning to complete the no-hitter. He finished the year with a 0.68 ERA and 13 saves in 43 appearances, and won his second Stopper of the Year Award.
The Chicago Cubs selected Berg in the sixth round, with the 173rd overall selection, of the 2015 MLB Draft. Berg signed and spent 2015 with both the Eugene Emeralds and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, where he posted a 2–1 record with a 1.40 ERA. In 2016, Berg started the season with Myrtle Beach and was later promoted to the Tennessee Smokies; in 43 total games between both clubs, 4–4 record and a 5.17 ERA. He spent 2017 with Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and the Iowa Cubs, pitching to a combined 4-4 record and 5.16 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP in a career high 61 innings pitched between the three teams.
On March 27, 2018, the Cubs released Berg.
Berg is a sidewinder with an 83 mph fastball.
Awards and honors
- June 5, 2015 – Berg was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) District IX Player of the Year.
- "Former Bishop Amat baseball standout Berg shines as UCLA reliever – LA Daily News". Dailynews.com. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- Olson, Eric (August 25, 2011). "UCLA's Berg goes from walk-on to star closer | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA". Theadvocate.com. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "USABaseball.com: News: Golden Spikes Spotlight: David Berg". web.usabaseball.com.
- Sondheimer, Eric (May 31, 2012). "Side benefits – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Durable David Berg among best UCLA pitchers ever, and he's done it all without a scholarship". Fox News. June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- Foster, Chris (June 16, 2013). "UCLA reliever David Berg is a finalist for pitcher of the year". latimes.com. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "David Berg, UCLA strive to close a championship hole". Usatoday.com. June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "UCLA baseball: David Berg named NCBWA Stopper of the Year". June 13, 2015.
- Kartje, Ryan (May 25, 2013). "UCLA RHP David Berg again named to USA team". OC Register. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- Berg breaks record Archived July 29, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, NCAA.com, June 25, 2013
- Nyatawa, Jon (June 25, 2013). "UCLA's Berg sets NCAA saves record by escaping yet again". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- Hiserman, Mike (June 25, 2013). "College baseball: UCLA cruises past Mississippi State, 8–0, to win national title – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Foster, Chris (June 22, 2013). "UCLA baseball: David Berg, Pat Valaika earn postseason honors". latimes.com. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- "Relief pitchers David Berg, Jake Ehret become final Bruins taken in MLB draft". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- Los Angeles Times (June 17, 2014). "Baseball: David Berg could be returning to UCLA". latimes.com. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "David Berg to Return to UCLA for Senior Season". uclabruins.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "James Kaprielian and David Berg Combine for First UCLA No-Hitter - UCLABruins.com - UCLA Athletics". www.uclabruins.com.
- "David Berg Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Spring Training Prospect Notes: Mazzoni lost on waivers, Cubs release 10 other Minor Leaguers".
- "David Berg Returns to UCLA As Undergrad Assistant Coach". UCLA Bruins. January 9, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- Connon, Sam (February 14, 2019). "With hype and hopes high, baseball sees chance to contend for championship". Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- David Berg Named NCBWA District IX Player of the Year, UCLABruins.com, June 5, 2015