Phil Bickford of Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Dominic Smith of Gardena Serra were in a celebratory mood after being chosen No. 10 and No. 11, respectively, during Major League Baseball's first-year player draft on Thursday.
Bickford, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher with a 96-mph fastball, went to the Toronto Blue Jays. Smith, a left-handed-hitting first baseman who struck seven home runs this season, was taken by the New York Mets.
Smith was in New Jersey as part of an invitation from MLB to be part of the draft festivities, and former Crenshaw High and New York Mets and Dodgers outfielder Darryl Strawberry was there to offer congratulations. Strawberry was the No. 1 pick of the Mets in the 1980 draft.
FOR THE RECORD:
Baseball draft: In the June 7 Sports section, a photo caption said that University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant was chosen by the Colorado Rockies in the Major League Baseball draft on Thursday. As the accompanying article correctly said, Bryant was selected by the Chicago Cubs. —
"This is a great honor and opportunity," Smith told MLB.com.
"He just told me it's going to be a grind but always have fun," J.P. Crawford said in New Jersey.
Stanford right-hander Mark Appel was taken No. 1 overall by the Houston Astros. He's a native of Houston who returned to Stanford for his senior year after being chosen ninth overall last year by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, the top power hitter in college baseball, was chosen second in the draft, by the Chicago Cubs. The Colorado Rockies took Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray at No. 3.
"You work for this your whole life," said Bryant, who hit 31 home runs for San Diego.
Cal State Fullerton pitcher Michael Lorenzen was selected No. 38 by the Reds.
Seventy-three selections were made on Thursday. Rounds 3 through 10 will take place Friday. On Saturday there will be rounds 11 through 40.
Smith and Crawford, African American players, have received lots of support from the MLB-backed Urban Youth Academy in Compton.