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San Diego Makes Its Mark On MLB Draft

Home-Bred Talent In Demand Early

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig announces that the Houston Astros have selected Brady Aiken number one overall during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

    In Major League Baseball history, only three players selected with the first overall pick have failed to make it to the Show (we are leaving the last few years out because those players are still developing): catcher Steve Chilcott (1966), pitcher Brien Taylor (1991), and infielder Matt Bush (2004).

    The Astros made a pretty good move to avoid that kind of infamy when they drafted Cathedral Catholic High School LHP Brady Aiken number one on Thursday.

    Aiken has a fastball in the mid-90's, and recently cranked it up to 98 MPH. He also has a swing-and-miss slider and a mature approach to attacking hitters. Houston brass said they had Aiken on their radar since he was 14 years old.

    "A lot of our senior scouts agree this is the best left-handed high school pitcher they've ever scouted," said Astros Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Elias.

    Aiken was just the first player who prepped in San Diego County to go off the board.

    The Mariners used the 6th overall pick on Rancho Bernardo High School catcher Alex Jackson. Most scouts believe Jackson has the best power bat in this year's draft class. He hit .400 with 11 home runs, 31 RBI and 45 runs scored his senior season.

    Jackson will likely move from behind the plate to the outfield as a professional. He has one of the strongest arms in the country, and with Mike Zunino (3rd overall pick in 2012) taking over as Seattle's every day catcher, the M's will want to get Jackson's bat to the Big Leagues as fast as possible.

    With the 21st overall pick, the Indians grabbed USF star Bradley Zimmer, a graduate of La Jolla High School. Zimmer hit .368 this season, with 7 home runs and 31 RBI in 54 and 21 stolen  bases. Zimmer also played for the Team USA college national team, and won playoff MVP honors in the Cape Cod League.

    Two years ago, Brad's brother Kyle was a first-round pick by the Royals.

    With the 39th overall pick, Poway High School alum and University of San Diego 1st baseman Connor Joe was taken by the Pirates. Joe won the West Coast Conference Player of the Year Award, batting .367 with 21 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and a WCC-leading 51 RBI.

    The MLB Draft continues on Friday.