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Terrian “Trae” Arbet, 2013 graduate of Great Oak High School, was selected in the fifth round of the MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tyler Wade, 2013 graduate of Murrieta Valley, was selected in the fourth round of the MLB draft by the New York Yankees.
Tyler Wade, 2013 graduate of Murrieta Valley, was selected in the fourth round of the MLB draft by the New York Yankees.
Brandon Dixon, Murrieta Valley graduate, University of Arizona, was a third round pick in the 2013 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Brandon Dixon, Murrieta Valley graduate, University of Arizona, was a third round pick in the 2013 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Local athletes selected in MLB draft

Friday, June 14th, 2013
Issue 24, Volume 17.
Paul Bandong
Staff Writer

Every year, over 2.2 million youth play Little League and Pony League baseball, over 500,000 play high school baseball and over 35,000 play college ball. Most of them dream of getting a chance to play professionally in the major leagues. Over 1200 were given that opportunity in the latest MLB draft held June 6-8 this year. Six local players were part of that draft. Three are 2013 high school graduates: one from Murrieta Valley and two from Great Oak.

Tyler Wade, star shortstop from Murrieta Valley, was selected in the fourth round (#134) by the New York Yankees. Wade hit .524 this year with 44 hits (six doubles, six triples, one home run), 16 RBI’s, a slugging percentage of .774 and on-base percentage of .596. He stole12 bases on 15 attempts. Wade had a fielding percentage of .945 in 26 games this year.

"We all knew that Tyler would be something special when we saw him in our freshman summer camp," said Murrieta Valley Head Coach Scott Widner. "He stood head and shoulders above everyone as far as ability is concerned…possesses excellent speed, can handle the bat well, has a strong arm and excellent range at short."

"This is truly exciting," said Wade. "It has been a really good four years; the coaches really taught me a lot, especially about character on and off the field. Hard work really pays off; I would encourage younger players to always pursue your dream."

Terrian "Trae" Arbet, star shortstop and four-year varsity letterman from Great Oak, was selected in the fifth round (#149) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Arbet finished the season with a .309 BA, 20 runs, 18 RBI’s. He hit eight doubles, two triples, and two home runs. In 28 games, his fielding percentage was 1.000. He was named the tenth best shortstop in the nation by Baseball America.

"He makes the difficult plays look routine," says Great Oak Head Coach Eric Morton. "[He] could be the most athletic player we have had."

Luke Persico, star outfielder/shortstop from Hart High School in Newhart, CA transferred to Great Oak for his senior year. He was selected in the 37th round by the Colorado Rockies.

"Luke has as good of an arm from the outfield as any high school player I have seen. He has great range and above average pop at the plate," says Morton. "I wish he could have played for us this year. [He] will have a great career at UCLA." According to the Wolfpack Facebook site, Persico functioned as scorekeeper and hydration specialist for the team this year.

Three former Valley players were also selected.

Brandon Dixon, a 2010 graduate of Murrieta Valley High School was the #92 overall pick (third round) and was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dixon was All-Valley at MVHS in 2010 and went on to attend the University of Arizona on a baseball scholarship. He recently led the Pac-12 in hitting (.369, six homers, 51 RBI’s, 30 stolen bases) and was named All-Conference. Dixon hit the game-winning double with two runners on that gave Arizona the College World series title over South Carolina (4-1) last year.

"Brandon is a great leader with a great head on his shoulders," said Widner. "He possessed all the tools in baseball: good speed, power, strong arm and intelligence…one of the hardest workers I have had in the program."

"This is really a dream come true," said Dixon. "I’ve been really lucky at MV and Arizona with good coaching and being surrounded by guys that work hard. I had been hoping for a team that does its spring training in the Phoenix area, but to get drafted by a West Coast club like the Dodgers is really a dream come true!"

Chase Johnson, a right-handed pitcher and Fallbrook High graduate, was selected #101 overall (round 3) by the San Francisco Giants. Johnson was a three-year starter for the Warriors and was named 1st team All-Avocado League. Johnson became Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s primary closer in his sophomore year. He was listed as the #10 MLB prospect out of WCCBL (Baseball America). Johnson was previously drafted in 2010 by the Texas Rangers in the 26th round.

Trevor Bayless, a 2009 graduate of Great Oak High School, was selected as a pitcher by the Oakland A’s (#671) in the 22nd round. Bayless hit .333 and he carried a 3.79 ERA for the Wolfpack. Bayless has been pitching for the University of San Diego Toreros.

"Trevor had a breakout year at USD this year," says Morton. "His fastball gained some velocity and had a great breaking ball. He is a great student of the game and was always looking for ways to make himself better."

Morton characterized all three Great Oak players as "soft-spoken kids who worked hard." Widner’s assessment of the MV players also included praise for their "hard work" ethic. "This makes the 30 years I have spent in coaching all worth while." And apparently hard work does pay off. The minimum salary of a Major Leaguer is $490,000; the average is over $3 million.

The future is bright for our six local athletes in this year’s draft.



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