Monte Vista Christian senior Jojo Keldsen was named the Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division's Most Valuable Player for the 2023 season. (Juan Reyes/The Pajaronian file photo)

Monte Vista Christian senior and baseball stud Jojo Keldsen was named the Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division’s Most Valuable Player following a monster season on the diamond field. 

Keldsen—who also earned all-league first team honors—batted a .461 average (41-of-89) with five home runs including one grand slam, three doubles, 28 RBIs and 20 runs scored for MVC. He also recorded 145 strikeouts and a 1.29 ERA, finishing with an 8-2 overall record in 12 appearances on the mound including a no-hitter in 14-0 win over Watsonville High in league action March 25.

“I’ve had some good ones in the past, but by far I think Jojo [Keldsen] is probably the best one I’ve coached in years,” said MVC coach Johnny Ramirez.

Ramirez coached Rafael “Bubu” Garcia who went to Gilroy High and was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 39th round of the 2012 MLB Prospect Draft. 

However, the long-time skipper believes Keldsen’s work ethic was unlike any other that he’s seen and he meant so much for the Mustangs baseball program. 

“If we’re gonna hang our hat on someone this is the dude we want,” Ramirez said. 

It was a bittersweet and sad ending for Ramirez who watched Keldsen play in his final game following a 2-1 loss to Hillsdale in the Central Coast Section Division V playoffs. 

“I’m happy he’s gonna move on to college but I wish I had one more year with him,” he said. “He is so competitive.” 

In 2022, Keldsen finished with 110 strikeouts, giving him 255 strikeouts over the course of two seasons. 

Ramirez said that Keldsen is the complete package, yet still very raw in the sense that he never had a dedicated pitching or hitting coach that could bring out his full potential. 

“Whoever gets Jojo is gonna have a special player because he’s legit,” Ramirez said. 

During the opening round of the CCS playoffs against Gilroy High, a high number of college and professional baseball scouts were on hand to watch Gilroy High standout pitcher Quinn Larson—who is committed to play at UCLA.  

A couple of scouts asked Ramirez about Keldsen and where he’s committed to play next year in college. He has his heart set on San Jose State University but as of now Keldsen is still looking for a place to call home for the 2024 season. 

The 6-foot 4-inch, 180-pound versatile player is the type who won’t get off the field when he’s working out, Ramirez said.

If Keldsen chooses the junior college route, then so be it, but some of these NCAA coaches might be missing out on a special player. 

“You have a guy here that is a dirtbag, wants to go to play for you guys, will be a reliever or starter or play shortstop,” Ramirez said. “He’ll walk on and you don’t want to give this guy a look. It’s mind-boggling.” 

All-PCAL Baseball 

Mission Division 

Individual Awards

Most Valuable Player: Jojo Keldsen, Monte Vista Christian

Pitcher of the Year: Trent Toole, Stevenson

First Team

Trent Toole, Stevenson

Amani Wilson, Stevenson

Rider McCormick, Stevenson

Jojo Keldsen, Monte Vista Christian

Dylan Hawkins, Monte Vista Christian

Brandon Swing, Monte Vista Christian

Luke Hollingsworth, Monte Vista Christian

Brycee Blair, King City

Brody Legions, Watsonville

Aiden Ramirez, Alvarez

Gerardo Valadez, Alisal

Isaiah Andrade, Alisal

Zachary Armenta, Rancho San Juan

Second Team

Jared Tognetti, King City

Jose Aguirre, King City

Adam Morris, Rancho San Juan

Rudy Osuna, Rancho San Juan

Nathan Madewell, Alisal

Anthony Loredo, Monte Vista Christian 

Bryce Brogan, Monte Vista Christian 

Jake Burkhardt, North Salinas

Josh Degroodt, North Salinas

Miguel Lopez, Watsonville

Sean Ishii, Stevenson

Reggie Bell, Stevenson

Vincent Barajas, North Monterey County

Richard Chamberlin All-Sportsmanship Team

Aiden Rodriguez, Watsonville

Ramiro Orozco, North Salinas

Ben De La Torre, Rancho San Juan

Mason Hill, King City

Alex Glasscock, Stevenson

Ivan Chavez, Everett Alvarez

Joseph Holmes, North Monterey County

Vladamir Luna, Alisal

AJ Ferrarte, Monte Vista Christian

Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship Team


Gabilan Division

Individual Awards

Most Valuable Players: Mathew Pena, Hollister; Eric Segura, Soledad; JJ Sanchez, Carmel

First Team

Mathew Pena, Hollister

Eric Segura, Soledad

JJ Sanchez, Carmel

Trent Roach, Holister

Jaden Mingus, Hollister

Adrian Ruiz, Hollister

Pablo Sanchez, Monterey

Cam Miramontes, Monterey

Omar Gonzalez, Palma

Alec Oriz, Salinas

Dominic Chavez, Soledad

Micah Cervantes, St. Francis

Kyle Dyer, St. Francis

Second Team

Ethan Jackson, Carmel

Zander Lunt, Carmel

Matt Maxon, Carmel

Wyatt Barton, Hollister

Breyon Chavez, Hollister

Goose Garrett, Monterey

Quentin Williams, Palma

Jayden Kim, Palma

Zane Turner, Pacific Grove

Manny Dorantes, Salinas

Jesse Farfan, Soledad

Junior Ibarra, St. Francis

Javier Fonseca, St. Francis

Richard Chamberlin All-Sportsmanship Team

Toby Strawser, Carmel

Brandon Flores, Hollister

Goose Garrett, Monterey

Kaleb Shannon, Palma

Rey Avila, Pacific Grove

Jordan Isla, Salinas

Cristo Barroso, Soledad

Trey Silva, St. Francis

Elgie Bellizio Team Sportsmanship 

Pacific Grove

Cypress Division

Individual Awards

Pitcher of the Year: Manny Gutierrez, Greenfield

Offensive Players of the Year: Malcom Bautista, Greenfield

Defensive Player of the Year: Dylan St. Laurent, Marina

First Team

Manny Gutierrez, Greenfield 

Malcom Bautista, Greenfield 

Tony Pantoja, Greenfield 

Alex Gutierrez, Greenfield 

Josh Chavez, Gonzales 

Isaiah Mottu, Gonzales 

Joseph Acosta, Gonzales 

Jonathen Ybarra, Gonzales 

Dylan St. Laurent, Marina 

Devin McGraw, Marina 

Jeter Olivarez, Seaside

Jayden Valero, Seaside

Frank Gomez, Pajaro Valley

Second Team

Tyler Garcia, Greenfield

Gabe Conte, Greenfield

Isaiah Esquivel, Gonzales

Manuel Perea, Gonzales

Kaleb True, Marina

Gary Salmeri, Seaside

Cesar Varges, Seaside

Ethan Vasquez, Seaside

Juan Moreno, Pajaro Valley

Pablo Moreno, Pajaro Valley

Richard Chamberlin All-Sportsmanship Team 

Josh Cante, Greenfield 

Omar Espinoza, Gonzales

Ethan Vasquez, Seaside

Aramis Diaz, Pajaro Valley

Isaiah True, Marina

Elgie Bellizio Team Sportsmanship 

Pajaro Valley

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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