Local pitchers taken high in draft
Tate, Allard, Kaprielian and Bickford are among the early selections.
The Southland contributed some pitching to the first couple of rounds in the Major League Baseball draft on Monday.
Dillon Tate, a power-pitching right-hander from UC Santa Barbara and Claremont High, was chosen by the Texas Rangers fourth overall — making him the first player drafted other than a shortstop.
The first three picks were shortstops Dansby Swanson of Vanderbilt, to Arizona; Alex Bregman of Louisiana State, to Houston; and Brendan Rodgers of Lake Mary High in Florida, to Colorado.
Kolby Allard, a left-hander from San Clemente High, was taken No. 14 overall by Atlanta. He was followed by right-hander James Kaprielian of UCLA, to the New York Yankees at No. 16; and Phil Bickford, a right-hander who pitched for Westlake Village Oaks Christian High, Cal State Fullerton and, this past season, for College of Southern Nevada, for which he had 166 strikeouts in 862⁄ innings.
3 Bickford, who did not sign after being taken with the 10th overall pick by Toronto two years ago, was taken by San Francisco with the 18th selection.
Peter Lambert, a righthander out of San Dimas High, went No. 44 overall, to the Colorado Rockies; Thomas Eshelman, a right-hander from Cal State Fullerton, No. 46 to Houston; and Cody Ponce, a right-hander from Cal Poly Pomona, No. 55 to Milwaukee.
Eshelman was selected right about the same time he was nailing down the save — on one day’s rest after a 100pitch start on Saturday — as Fullerton advanced to the College World Series with a 4-3 NCAA super regional victory over Louisville in 11 innings. Lucas Herbert, Allard’s batterymate at San Clemente, may remain his batterymate with Atlanta. The Braves chose Herbert No. 54 overall.