MLB draft: Bryce Harper is first player taken
Bryce Harper, the 17-year-old catcher/outfielder from Las Vegas who left high school after his sophomore year to play junior college baseball and make himself eligible for baseball's first-year amateur draft, hit the jackpot Monday when the Washington Nationals made him the first choice.
"It's what I've wanted since I was 7 years old," Harper said on the MLB Network.
With Scott Boras serving as his advisor, Harper figures to receive a lucrative signing bonus. Last year's top pick represented by Boras, pitcher Stephen Strasburg, signed with the Nationals for $15.1 million.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Harper is a left-handed power hitter who batted .443 with 31 home runs and 98 RBI for College of Southern Nevada this season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Jameson Taillon, a 6-6 pitcher from The Woodlands High School in Texas with the No. 2 pick. The Baltimore Orioles took shortstop Manny Machado from Miami Brito High at No. 3.
Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon, a graduate of Anaheim Canyon, was taken No. 4 by the Kansas City Royals. He's playing against Minnesota for a spot in the Super Regionals. The Cleveland Indians took Mississippi left-hander Drew Pomeranz at No. 5. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected pitcher Barret Loux from Texas A&M at No. 6.
At No. 7, the New York Mets picked North Carolina pitcher Matt Harvey. At No. 8, the Houston Astros chose Delino DeShields Jr. from Georgia's Woodward Academy. At No. 9, the San Diego Padres went for pitcher Karsten Whitson from Florida Chipley High. Center fielder Michael Choice from Texas at Arlington went No. 10 to the Oakland Athletics.
Pitcher Deck McGuire from Georgia Tech was taken No. 11 by the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cincinnati Reds chose Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal at No. 12. The Chicago White Sox selected left-hander Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast at No. 13.
Right-hander Dylan Covey from Pasadena Maranatha became the first Southern California high school player selected at No. 14 by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Infielder Jake Skole from Woodstock (Ga.) Blessed Trinity High was taken No. 15 by the Texas Rangers. The Chicago Cubs selected pitcher Hayden Simpson from Central Arkansas at No. 16. Tampa Bay chose Seattle (Wash.) Bishop Blanchet left-handed hitting Josh Sale at No. 17.
The Angels picked pitcher-infielder Kaleb Cowart from Cook County (Ga.) at No. 18. The Astros' second pick of the first round was pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, a Texas commit from Minooka (Ill.) Community College at No. 19.
The Boston Red Sox selected Ball State second baseman Kolbrin Vitek at No. 20. Right-hander Alex Wimmers from Ohio State was taken No. 21 by the Minnesota Twins. The Rangers picked catcher Kellin Deglan from Langley Blaze (British Columbia, Canada) at No. 22.
Christian Yelich, an infielder from Westlake Village Westlake, became the second high school player from Southern California chosen, going No. 23 to the Florida Marlins.
Cal State Fullerton had its second player selected in the first round when outfielder Gary Brown was chosen at No. 24 by the San Francisco Giants.
Third baseman Zack Cox from Arkansas went to the St. Louis Cardinals at No. 25. Kyle Parker, the quarterback at Clemson and an outfielder for the baseball team, went No. 26 to the Colorado Rockies. The Philadelphia Phillies selected left-hander Jesse Biddle from Germantown Friends (Pa.) at No. 27.
The Dodgers took Zach Lee, a pitcher from McKinney (Texas) who is also a top quarterback. He has signed with LSU. He was taken No. 28. Pitcher Cam Bedrosian, an LSU commit from East Coweta (Ga.), was taken No. 29 by the Angels. And the Angels took at No. 30 another Georgia high school player, outfielder Chevy Clarke, from Marietta.
At No. 31, Tampa Bay chose catcher Justin O'Conner from Cowan High in Muncie, Ind. The New York Yankees made the final pick of the first round and took infielder Cito Culver from Irondequoit in Rochester, N.Y.
-- Eric Sondheimer
Photo: Bryce Harper. Credit: Isaac Brekken / Associated Press