Marcus Semien and friends

Over on, we’ve got the story of how White Sox prospect Marcus Semien grew up on the Cal campus, played on the team that helped save the Golden Bears baseball program and learned a little something about UFOs and nuclear radiation along the way.


Jason Wise/

As though the guy needed a more interesting backstory, Semien also had improbably long runs as a teammate to two different players now in the Minors.

The first was with Rockies prospect Matt Flemer, which began in 2008 at St. Mary’s High School, in Berkeley. Both Semien and Flemer were recruited by nearby Cal, and while each had many reasons for choosing the Golden Bears on his own, it didn’t hurt that they’d get to continue to play together.

In fact, Semien said his decision to commit to Cal was all the more memorable because it coincided with Flemer’s.


Tracy Proffitt/

“It was big,” he explained, “because Matt Flemer, who I played with in high school and was really good friends with also committed. I mean, I grew up with Matt Flemer.”

Semien remains teammates with fellow White Sox prospect Erik Johnson, who’s ranked No. 3 in the system — five spots ahead of Semien — and who played with Semien in college, Class A Advanced, Double-A, Triple-A and — as of last September — the Major Leagues.


AP Photo/Paul Sancya

“It’s always nice to have somebody you’re familiar with and feel comfortable with,” Semien said of bouncing around with Johnson. “Once you get to the pros, a lot of times you don’t know any of these guys, and guys are coming from all over the country and you’ve never met any of them. It’s a whole new process. Coming up with Erik has been great.

“It was awesome that we got to make our big league debut on the same night. We both shared that experience together, and shared our jitters and all that.”

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