Only one played during the 2019 high school season (the others were in college), but solid total of six players from the Golden State were chosen in the first round of Monday’s MLB Draft. We have the rundown on all six plus the next highest selections in the second round, including two from the same school.
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Just two years ago, a pair of California high schoolers, Royce Lewis of JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) and Hunter Greene of Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), were the top two selections overall in the annual Major League Baseball Draft. That also was the second straight year and third time in four years that a California prep player went in the No. 1 position.
In this year’s draft, which began on Monday and continues in later rounds this week, there wasn’t a California prep player named until the 13th spot in the first round. In the end, though, there still were six players in all that were taken in the first round who are from California high schools. That not quite like eight of the first 26 from 1980, but a better than average total.
Here’s a rundown of players selected in the first round on Monday plus the next few picks of the second round:
No. 3 Andrew Vaughn (Maria Carrillo, Santa Rosa)
Reportedly the highest drafted player ever from the North Bay region of Northern California, Vaughn has been one of the most celebrated college players the past two seasons. The University of California standout was chosen by the Chicago White Sox. Vaughn pitched and hit during a four-year career at Maria Carrillo. He was all-state underclass first team in 2015 and was all-state medium schools in 2016. He could be a two-time Golden Spikes Award winner, which is given to the national college player of the year. Vaughn was voted the winner after his sophomore season (2018).
No. 7 Nick Lodolo (Damien, La Verne)
Hailing from the same school as legendary slugger Mark McGwire, Lodolo was drafted in 2016, but turned it down and headed to TCU. Like many top prospects in Southern California, Nick was on the Milwaukee Brewers Area Code team. He has been a starting pitcher for the Horned Frogs and in this year’s draft went to the Cincinnati Reds.
No. 10 Hunter Bishop (Serra, San Mateo)
It seemed like Bishop might go to the local San Francisco Giants according to at least one mock draft and that’s what happened. The power-hitting left-hander, who stands 6-foot-5 and projects as a corner outfielder, played at Arizona State after graduating from Serra. He’s from the same high school as MLB all-time home run hitter Barry Bonds of the Giants, who also was left-handed and also went to ASU. Hunter’s brother, Braden Bishop, recently made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners. Braden played at St. Francis (Mountain View).
No. 13 Keoni Cavaco (Eastlake, Chula Vista)
The emotion of Cavaco’s family when they saw and heard his name announced as the choice by the Minnesota Twins was genuine. It wasn’t that long ago when this day was probably viewed as being a long-shot. Cavaco did sign a letter of intent with San Diego State, but he rocketed up the draft boards over the past few months and he led Eastlake to the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title. He’s from the same school as 2000 No. 1 overall pick Adrian Gonzalez.
No. 27 Ryan Jensen (Salinas)
As the draft was unfolding on Monday, Jensen was pitching for Fresno State in an NCAA regional winner-take-all championship game against Stanford. What a weird day it must have been for him. He goes in the first round (not every mock draft had him that high) but his team lost 9-7 and its season is over. Jensen was picked by the Chicago Cubs.
No. 32 Korey Lee (Vista)
This was a surprise pick to many since Lee just became the starting catcher at Cal this season. But he made the most of his opportunity, bashing 15 homers to tie Andrew Vaughn (see above) for the team lead and displaying outstanding defensive skills with an “above average” throwing arm. Lee was the final pick of the first round, going to a Houston Astros team that definitely looks like it will be one of the favorites to win the World Series later this year.
No. 41 Davis Wendzel (JSerra, SJ Capistrano)
He was the final pick in the CBA round (competitive balance), which was held after the first round, then three more picks in a compensation round. Wendzel played in college at Baylor and was a high school teammate of 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis.
No. 50 Ryan Garcia (La Salle, Pasadena)
This was the first Californian tabbed in the second round. Garcia, who was one of the top pitchers in the Pac-12 this spring for UCLA, was selected by the Texas Rangers. La Salle may be a small school, but the Lancers also have an alum, Kinsley Washington, playing a key role for UCLA’s softball team, which won the opening game of the College World Series championship also on Monday night against Oklahoma.
No. 55 Kyren Paris (Freedom, Oakley)
Infield prospect has been rising up the charts this season and went to the Angels in the second round. Paris has signed with Cal, but the Angels have high hopes they will sign him. He’s just 17, which a lot of scouts like compared to high schoolers who may be about to turn 19.
No. 60 Beau Philip (Oak Ridge, El Dorado Hills)
The shortstop from Oregon State was the second Beaver to get drafted on Monday. The first was No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman, a catcher and said by some to be the best prospect drafted since Bryce Harper went No. 1 in 2010.
No. 64 Chase Strumpf (JSerra, SJ Capistrano)
At nearly the exact moment Chase was being picked in the second round by the Cubs, he launched a home run for UCLA in its NCAA playoff game with Loyola-Marymount. Strumpf also was on the JSerra team two years ago with 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis and 2019 CBA first round choice Davis Wendzel.
California’s No. 1 MLB Draft Picks
1968 – Tim Foli (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) INF
This was the fourth draft ever held. Foli was chosen by the New York Mets.
1969 – Jeff Burroughs (Wilson, Long Beach) OF
Taken by the Washington Senators, he later became MVP of the American League.
1980 – Darryl Strawberry (Crenshaw, Los Angeles) OF
Also a standout basketball player, he was selected by the New York Mets.
1992 – Phil Nevin (El Dorado, Placentia) 3B
He was from Cal State Fullerton when picked by the Houston Astros and has been a third base coach for more than one MLB team.
1998 – Pat Burrell (Bellarmine, San Jose) OF
After graduating from Bellarmine, he went across the country to Miami for college. He was chosen by the Phillies.
2000 – Adrian Gonzalez (Eastlake, Chula Vista) 1B
He became a perennial all-star with the Padres, Red Sox and Dodgers but was the No. 1 pick by the Florida Marlins.
2003 – Delmon Young (Camarillo) OF
Tampa Bay made Young the first pick of the draft after a great prep career. He was State Player of the Year as a junior, but Ian Stewart of Westminster La Quinta (also picked in the first round) was State POY the next season.
2004 – Matt Bush (Mission Bay, San Diego) INF
He had a difficult path to reach the majors, but finally did early in 2016 season as a relief pitcher. Bush was picked No. 1 by his hometown San Diego Padres.
2009 – Stephen Strasburg (West Hills, Santee) P
The Washington Nationals went with Strasburg at No. 1 after he became a big-time prospect at San Diego State.
2011 – Gerrit Cole (Lutheran, Orange) P
An all-state choice for the Lancers, Cole became a candidate to be a No. 1 pick after going to UCLA. He was tabbed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
2013 – Mark Appel (Monte Vista, Danville) P
The Houston Astros had the No. 1 pick and went with Appel, who had become a star at Stanford after graduating from Monte Vista.
2014 – Brady Aiken (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) P
He famously didn’t sign with the Astros after they chose him No. 1. Another San Diego player, catcher Alex Jackson of Rancho Bernardo, went right near the top as well at No. 6.
2016 – Mickey Moniak (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad) OF
The previous outfielder that the Phillies picked No. 1 was Burrell (another Californian) in 1992 and he had a more than solid MLB career.
2017 – Royce Lewis (JSerra, San Juan Capistrano) INF
He’s the first-ever No. 1 MLB pick directly from an Orange County high school. The other two, Phil Nevin and Gerrit Cole, were in college when they were chosen at the top.