Three baseball players from the Boys & Girls Club of Venice's Urban Youth Academy program have been selected in Major League Baseball's first-year player's draft.
Chase DeJong, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 185-pound right-handed pitcher out of Woodrow Wilson High School, was chosen in the second round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Ron Miller, a third baseman from Junipero Serra High School, was chosen in the 10th round by the Miami Marlins and Kevin Maxey, a left-fielder from Long Beach Poly High School, was picked in the 17th round, 536th overall, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
DeJong, Miller and Maxey were among 14 players from the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program who were selected in the 2012 first-year player draft conducted Monday through Wednesday in New York in which 1,238 players were chosen.
Since its inception in 1989, more than 200 RBI participants have been drafted by MLB teams, including these players currently on MLB rosters: James Loney of the Los Angeles Dodgers, CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, Carl Crawford of the Boston Red Sox and Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"On behalf of the Los Angeles Dodgers and RBI alums everywhere, I want to congratulate those drafted and send them my best wishes as they keep their dream of becoming a Major Leaguer alive," said Loney, Dodgers first baseman and Houston RBI alumnus, in a statement. "With hard work, determination and a strong will, each of them can achieve their dreams."
Victor Roache of the Think Detroit PAL RBI league was the highest pick among RBI participants and was chosen in the first round by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 28th overall pick.
The top pick in the 2012 MLB draft was 17-year-old Carlos Correa, a high school shortstop from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. Correa signed a contract Thursday with the Houston Astros that included a $4.8 million signing bonus.
Baseball teams selected 630 pitchers and 608 position players in the draft and the 461 right-handed pitchers were the most common type of player selected and made up 37 percent of players selected, according to a release from Major League Baseball.
Teams drafted 55 percent of their players from four-year universities, 34 percent from the high school ranks and 11 percent from junior colleges. There were seven black players chosen in the first-round_ making up 23 percent of the first round _ which is the highest number since 2002.
Ryan Ripken, the son of Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken, and Ryan Garvey, the son of former Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey, also were picked in the 2012 draft. Michael Yastrzemski, gradnson of Hall of Fame player Carl Yastrzemski, was drafted Wednesday by the Seattle Mariners.
California had 226 players selected in the draft, which was the most among any state, and was followed by Florida with 146 players and Texas with 141 players.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams have until July 13 to sign players chosen in the draft.