If the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft was a race, the state of Georgia would have been the sprint champion while California was the winner of the marathon.
Georgia came hard out of the blocks on the first day with five of the top 30 players chosen coming from the Peach State.
However while Georgia finished the three-day, 50-round event with 33 players selected, California finished with a whopping 93 - 27 more than the next closest state Florida (66 total selections) and more than double Texas, which had the third highest total with 46 players chosen.
Break up California into its respective sections and the dominance of the Southern Section becomes apparent. If the Southern Section was its own state, it would have ranked No. 3 on the list behind California and Florida.
Dylan Covey of Maranatha (Pasadena, Calif.) was the first California player chosen, going to the Milwaukee Brewers with the No. 14 overall pick. Christian Yelich of Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.), however, was the only other Californian taken among the first 32 picks in the first round.
California didn't really begin to pick up steam until after the 10th round. The state had just 23 picks in the first 10 rounds, but 70 in the final 40 rounds. Texas had 13 players chosen in the first 10 rounds while Georgia had 12 and Florida 11.
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As for individual teams, three schools had three players selected in the draft: Barbe (Lake Charles, La.), Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) and Lakeland (Lakeland, Fla.).
Barbe had Garin Cecchini, a shortstop who missed most of the season with a knee injury, go to the Boston Red Sox with the 143rd pick. Hommy Rosado, a first baseman/pitcher, landed with the Colorado Rockies with the 350th pick and Kevin Berard went to the Milwaukee Brewers with the 669th selection.
Lakeland shortstop Yordy Cabrera went to the Oakland Athletics with the No. 60 pick overall. Teammates Alec Asher (No. 708) and Eric Arce (No. 816) went to the San Francisco Giants and the Toronto Blue Jays respectively. Asher is a pitcher and Arce is a catcher.
Walsh Jesuit had Johnny Fasola, a shortstop, go to the Los Angeles Dodgers with the No. 1,102 pick overall while Greg Grevea pitcher, was chosen No. 1368 by the Giants and Tyler Skulina, a pitcher, went to the Athletics with the No. 1,385 pick.
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When it comes to having players selected in the MLB Draft, no other schools can match Lakewood (Lakewood, Calif.) and Sarasota (Sarasota, Fla.). According to The Baseball Cube, both entered this year's draft with 82 players selected since the draft first began in 1965. Both added one player each to their overall total. Sarasota's Jimmie Koch went to the Colorado Rockies with the No. 1,100 overall pick while Lakewood's Hunter Jones went to the Cleveland Indians with the 330th overall pick.
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While most MLB teams averaged around 15 high school selections out of their 50 regular draft picks (not including compensatory picks), Boston, Houston, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Texas and Toronto all picked at least 20 high school players.
Boston was the most high-school heavy team in the draft, choosing 32 out of the prep ranks. The Red Sox went with a middle infielder with its first high school selection, choosing Sean Coyle of Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.), who was the Gatorade State Player of the Year. Coyle went with the 110th pick overall. The Red Sox then chose Cecchini with their next pick. Cecchini would have likely been chosen much higher than the fourth round if not for the knee injury sustained this year.
The Pirates chose 26 high school players, most of them pitchers. In fact Pittsburgh's first 11 prep players chosen were pitchers. The top two, Jameson Taillon of The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas) and Stetson Allie of St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), rank among the hardest throwers in the draft. Taillon has topped 97 mph with his fastball while Allie hit 101 mph in the Ohio state tournament last week.
Toronto also went heavy on pitching among its 24 prep selections, including Noah Syndergaard of Mansfield Legacy (Mansfield, Texas) with the No. 38 overall pick. Syndergaard was not considered a high draft selection at the beginning of the season, but his high strikeout totals during the year and his much improved speed on his fastball proved too good to resist.
Tampa Bay, with 20 high school picks overall, concentrated its efforts in the Pacific Northwest, taking three Washington players among its first four selections. Besides landing Josh Sale of Bishop Blanchet (Seattle, Wash.) with the 17th pick, the Rays also took Drew Vettleson of Central Kitsap (Silverdale, Wash.) with pick 42 and Ryan Brett of Highline (Burien, Wash.) with pick 98.
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At the other end of the spectrum, Kansas City, San Francisco and the New York Mets were the only teams with fewer than 10 picks. The Royals did not choose a high school player until the third round when they selected shortstop Mike Antonio of Washington (New York, N.Y.).
The Giants, meanwhile, waited until the seventh round to choose their first high school player - Charles Jones of Boonville (Boonville, Mo.). The Mets waited even longer, holding out until Round 21 to select Dj Johnson of Cook (Adel, Ga.)(the same school that produced No. 13 overall pick Kaleb Cowart).
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Out of the top 10 teams in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, only five players were drafted: Ct Bradford of Pace (Pace, Fla.) (No. 1440), James Roberts of Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) (No. 1278), Drew Cisco of Wando (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) (No. 187), and Travis Flores (No. 341) and Taylor Kaczmarek (No. 1522) of Desert Ridge (Mesa, Ariz.).
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Here are the top high school players drafted at each position (not including Canada or Latin America): LHP - Jesse Biddle, Germantown Friends (Philadelphia, Pa.); RHP - Jameson Taillon, The Woodlands; C - Justin O'Conner, Cowan (Muncie, Ind.); 1B - Christian Yelich, Westlake; 2B - Brandon Mims, Newman Smith (Carrollton, Texas); 3B - Nick Castellanos, Archbishop McCarthy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); SS - Manny Machado, Brito (Miami, Fla.); LF - Hunter Jones, Lakewood; CF - Delino Deshields., Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.); RF - Josh Sale, Bishop Blanchet; OF.
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Top Five High School Players Whose Father's Played in the Major Leagues - Delino DeShields Jr., Woodward Academy (No. 8 overall), Karsten Whitson, Chipley (Chipley, Fla.) (No. 9), Cam Bedrosian, East Coweta (Sharpsburg, Ga.) (No. 29), James Baldwin, Pinecrest (Southern Pines, N.C.) (No. 142), Connor Narron, C.B. Aycock (Pikeville, N.C.) (No. 148).
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