State’s All-Time MLB 1st Round Picks

The No. 1 selection in the 2020 MLB Draft was Spencer Torkelson (shown as a player at Casa Grande of Petaluma). At right in 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis from JSerra (SJ Capistrano). Photos: & @JSerraLionsBB /

After seven players from the state heard their names called at the 2022 MLB Draft in Los Angeles, here’s as complete a list as possible of high school players and former high school players in college from California who have been selected in the first round of every Major League Baseball Draft since the event started in 1965. The school that still leads the way with most first-rounders continues to be Rancho Bernardo of San Diego.

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The first player ever taken in a Major League Baseball draft was Rick Monday in 1965 and that also was the first MLB draft ever held. Monday, a graduate of Santa Monica High, later played at Arizona State. That 1965 draft went 20 picks in the first round.

One of the projects we completed at Cal-Hi Sports during the pandemic with no games in any sports for many months was to compile lists of first-round draft picks from California high schools in the sports we focus on. The one for baseball was completed in May of 2020. The all-time first-round draft list for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball also have been completed.

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