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Williams, Valaika selected in MLB Draft

Valencia and Hart grads taken by Phillies, Rockies

Posted: June 7, 2013 4:05 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2013 4:05 p.m.

Valencia graduate and COC infielder Trey Williams was selected in the seventh round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

There are things one comes to expect in June.

Summer begins. Father’s Day. And a Hart High and Valencia High graduate will be selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

And one more thing.

A Valaika will be taken.

On the second day of the draft on Friday, Valencia High graduate Trey Williams and Hart High graduate Pat Valaika were selected.

Williams was taken in the seventh round (211th overall) by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Valaika was taken in the ninth round (259th overall) by the Colorado Rockies.

Williams intends to sign, despite having the options of returning to COC or playing at another college.

“I just feel like I’m ready now,” Williams said. “I got more experience, am mentally prepared, I bettered my game for this draft.”

The College of the Canyons freshman third baseman got off to a slow start in 2013, but exploded late to post a .333 batting average with six home runs and 24 RBIs on the season in 32 games.

Williams, who is one of the most exciting hitters to ever come through this valley with his quick, explosive bat, was rated as one of the top high school prospects in the nation going into his senior year at Valencia High.

Many draft prognosticators had him going as high as the top 10 of the 2012 draft, but he eventually fell to the 11th round at 360th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Williams decided not to sign or take his scholarship to Pepperdine University, instead going to COC to improve his draft stock.

He said he was on the phone with a Cincinnati Reds scout when he was scooped up this time by the Phillies.

“He said congratulations bud, you just got drafted,” Williams said the Reds scout told him. “I’m honored to play for the Phillies. This is great to be on a club with so much history.”

Williams’ father, Eddie, was the fourth pick in the 1983 draft by the New York Mets and played 10 seasons in the Major Leagues.

Valaika has his own family draft connections.

Valaika’s 27-year-old brother Chris is currently on the Miami Marlins and was a third-round pick in the 2006 draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

His 25-year-old brother Matt was taken in the 20th round of the 2009 draft by the Reds and the 34th round the following year by the Cardinals.

He is no longer in baseball.

The UCLA junior has options, as he could return for his senior year.

He batted .260 with team highs of five home runs and 42 RBIs this season and was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

During Friday’s opening game of the Fullerton Super Regional, Valaika picked up two RBIs in a 5-3 UCLA victory. The two teams will play again today at 7 p.m. in the second game of the best-of-three series.

“That’s just a testament to his hard work and dedication and all the effort his coaches down there at UCLA were down there doing,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “I’m really fired up and proud of him.”

Hart High has had a player selected in every MLB draft since 2000.

Valencia High has had a product drafted every year since 2004.

The draft concludes today with rounds 11 through 40.



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