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Six locals picked on final day of MLB draft

Six locals picked on final day of MLB draft
OCC's Eric Wagaman rips a hit in the second round of the Southern California Regional playoffs against Santa Ana on May 12. (Don Leach / Daily Pilot)

Orange Coast College sophomore first baseman Eric Wagaman leads six players with local ties selected on the final day of the three-day Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday.

Wagaman, who slugged 14 home runs to help the Pirates earn the state's No. 1 ranking for much of the season, was a 13th-round pick (No. 392 overall) of the New York Yankees.

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Dillion Persinger, a junior at Cal State Fullerton who played previously at Fountain Valley High and Golden West College, was taken in the 18th round (No. 552) by the Cleveland Indians.

UC Irvine senior shortstop Mikey Duarte was selected in the 23rd round (No. 687) by the Chicago White Sox.

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UCI junior left-hander Cameron Bishop and UCI commit Trenton Denholm both went in the 26th-round, to the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, respectively, while Vanguard University senior center fielder Brandon Sandoval was a 27th-round pick by the Angels.

Wagaman, 19, hit .332 with 49 RBIs, 14 doubles and slugged .636 to earn first-team All-Orange Empire Conference honors and help OCC go 36-12 and finish one win from reaching the four-team state tournament. The 6 feet 4, 210-pounder out of Aliso Niguel High, who has committed to the University of Houston, was the MVP of the Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas collegiate summer league in 2016.

Persinger, drafted as a second baseman, is hitting .296 in 58 games for the Titans, who take on No. 1 overall seed Oregon State in the opening round of the College World Series on Saturday in Omaha, Neb. A first baseman who is hitting in the No. 3 spot for the Titans, Persinger has three home runs, 30 RBIs, a team-leading 18 stolen bases, and a .417 on-base percentage.

The 5 feet 11, 180-pounder, 21, who was a first-team All-Big West Conference performer this season, was the Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year in 2016, when he led the Rustlers to the state championship game.

Persinger was drafted in the 17th round by the Dodgers in 2016 and was selected in the 31st round by Cleveland out of high school in 2015.

Duarte, 23, who missed all of the 2016 season after undergoing elbow surgery, hit .320 with two homers, 25 RBIs, 17 doubles and 36 runs for the Anteaters in 2017. He was a first-team All-Big West honoree in 2015, after hitting a team-best .341 with 17 doubles.

Bishop, 21, the No. 788 pick, missed the 2017 season after pulling an oblique muscle just days before the opener. Projected to be UCI's Friday starter, the 6 feet 4, 215-pound left-hander out of Brea Olinda High was 5-5 with a 4.61 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings, spanning 15 starts for UCI in 2016.

Denholm, 17, was the No. 791 pick out of Oak Ridge High in El Dorado Hills, Calif. The 5 feet 11, 180-pound right-hander's fastball registers in the low 92-94 mph range. He was 6-4 with an 0.99 ERA in 11 games as a senior. He struck out 88 in 56 1/3 innings, while allowing just 36 hits and walking 23. Opponents hit .172 against him.

Sandoval, 21, a three-time All-Golden State Athletic Conference honoree, hit .403 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and 33 stolen bases as the Lions leadoff man in 2017. The 6 feet 1, 180-pound switch-hitter had 81 hits, 67 runs and posted a .498 on-base percentage.

Sandoval becomes the third Vanguard player in two seasons to be drafted by the Angels, after Jose Rojas and Sean Isaac were tabbed last year.

Players have until July 15 to sign with their respective teams. If they do not sign, those with eligibility remaining may continue with their respective schools.

The Day 3 draftees round out 14 local players selected this season, including No. 1 overall pick and UCI commit Royce Lewis, UCI junior slugger Keston Hiura (No. 9) and Huntington Beach High senior Nick Pratto (No. 14), all chosen in the first round.

Lewis, a shortstop out of JSerra High, went to the Minnesota Twins, while Hiura was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers and Pratto, a first baseman, was tabbed by the Kansas City Royals.

Huntington Beach High senior Hagen Danner was a second-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, while Mater Dei High senior Blake Hunt, a Costa Mesa resident, was chosen No. 69 overall by the San Diego Padres.

On Day 2, Newport Harbor High graduate Connor Seabold, a junior pitcher at Cal State Fullerton, was selected in the third round (No. 83) by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fountain Valley High product Brock Lundquist, a junior outfielder at Long Beach State, was taken in the sixth round (No. 189) by Toronto, while UCI senior closer Calvin Faucher was a 10th-round selection (No. 286) by the Twins.

Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5

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