The Houston Astros selected high school pitcher Brady Aiken with the top pick in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.
Aiken, 17, a left-hander, went 7-0 with a 1.06 earned run average in 11 starts in his senior season at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego.
Aiken led the U.S. to the gold medal at the 18-and-under World Cup in Taiwan last September. He won both of his starts, including a victory in the championship game against Japan in which he allowed one run in seven innings and struck out 10.
“We’ve been following Brady Aiken for a while now and we feel that he is a young, dynamic, high-upside, left-handed pitcher,” Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow said last night in a statement released by MLB.
Aiken is the first left-handed pitcher selected top overall in the draft since Tampa Bay took David Price with the No. 1 pick in 2007. Price, a three-time All-Star, won the American League’s Cy Young Award in 2012 as the league’s top pitcher.
“It was a crazy moment, it’s been a fun experience,” Aiken said in an interview with MLB Network.
The Miami Marlins took right-hander pitcher Tyler Kolek, 18, from Shepherd High School in Texas, with the second pick in the draft, and North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon, 21, went third to the Chicago White Sox.
A record-tying 20 pitchers were taken in the opening round.
The New York Mets, picking 10th, chose Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto, a two-time Pac-12 conference player of the year. The New York Yankees did not have a first-round pick, and selected Mississippi State relief pitcher Jacob Lindgren in the second round.