The Major League Baseball association’s 2014 First year player draft took place over this past weekend and 4 local prospects from the area were selected to make the jump to the Big Leagues if they so choose to do so.
The first-year player draft, also known as the Rule 4 draft, is Major League Baseball’s primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players, from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs, to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season’s standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded “compensatory” picks.
The first amateur draft was held in 1965. Unlike most sports drafts, the first-year player draft is held mid-season, in June. Another distinguishing feature of this draft in comparison with those of other North American major professional sports leagues is its sheer size: under the new collective bargaining agreement the draft lasts 40 rounds, plus compensatory picks.
To be drafted a player must fit the following criteria:
Be a resident of the United States, Canada, or a U.S. territory such as Puerto Rico. Players from other countries are not subject to the draft, and can be signed by any team (unless they are current members of college teams in the aforementioned countries). A drafted player must have never signed a major or minor league contract. High school players are eligible only after graduation, and if they have not attended college. Players at four-year colleges are eligible after completing their junior years, or after their 21st birthdays and Junior and community college players are eligible to be drafted at any time.
From our area, 3 high school prospects and one junior college player were selected in this year’s draft.
- Kevin Padlo
A 6-2 infielder and pitcher from Murrieta Valley, Padlo was selected in the 5th round (143 overall) to the Colorado Rockies and had been turning the heads of professional scouts since last season when he made a name for himself at many of the showcase events he attended. “He is in a really good situation,” says Murrieta Valley’s head coach Monte Jones, “He can still go play ball at the University of San Diego, which has a great reputation for its program, or go play for the Rockies and climb the ladder for them. He is a smart kid with great family support and I know whatever he chooses, he will succeed.” No final decision had been made at the time this article was printed, but up to this point, Kevin had committed to play at USD next spring.
- Brandon Koch
A 6-5 right handed pitcher from Temecula Valley, Koch (pronounced Cook) was selected in the 33rd round (991 overall) to the Baltimore Orioles just hours after winning the CIF-SS Division 2 Championship’s this past Saturday. No final decision had been made at the time this article was printed, but up to this point, Brandon had committed to play at UC Riverside next spring.
- Chandler Wagoner
A 5-11 catcher/third baseman from Great Oak high school, Wagoner was selected in the 36th round (1068 overall) to the Chicago White Sox. No decision had been made at the time this article was printed, but up to this point, Chandler had committed to play at Oklahoma next spring for the Sooners.
- Shane Gonzales
A former graduate of Great oak High School (2012), Gonzales had gone off to play for USC his freshman year, but elected to play at Fullerton Junior College last season and was selected in the 31st round (922 overall) to the Philadelphia Phillies. No decision on whether Shane would sign or return to Fullerton had been made at the time this article was printed.
The Valley News Sports Department will update this information as it becomes available.