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Huntington Beach’s Ralphy Velazquez leads group of O.C. high school players in MLB draft

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Five seniors from Orange County’s recently-completed high school season were selected in the Major League Baseball amateur draft held this week, a slight increase from 2022.

Huntington Beach slugging catcher Ralphy Velazquez headlined the county’s Class of 2023 group by being drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Guardians.

His pick’s value at the No. 23 spot, according to MLB.com, is $3.38 million.

The other high school players selected this week were: outfielder Brandon Winokur of Edison by the Minnesota Twins in the third round, shortstop Boston Baro of Capistrano Valley by the New Mets Mets in the eighth round, outfielder Chase Brunson of San Clemente by Toronto Blue Jays in the 18th round and shortstop Blake Wilson of Santa Margarita by the Kanas City Royals in the 20th and final round.

Last year, four Orange County high school players were drafted, including shortstop Mikey Romero of Orange Lutheran who was picked in the first round by the Boston Red Sox.

LSU pitcher Paul Skenes, a former El Toro High player, was selected No. 1 overall this year by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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