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Former Hart player Luke Persico drafted by Rockies with 1,099 pick

Posted: June 9, 2013 8:53 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2013 8:53 p.m.

Former Hart outfielder and shortstop Luke Persico was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.

Former Hart baseball player Luke Persico, a senior at Greak Oak High School this season, was selected by the Colorado Rockies in with the 1,099 overall pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Persico did not play baseball for Great Oak after transferring from Hart prior to his senior season, but practiced with the team and attended games in order to stay mentally and physically prepared, according to Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

“I’ve got to give credit to the high school he went to. They did a great job on letting him participate and become a part of the team with not playing and it’s really a credit to Great Oak High School that and their coaching staff saw a kid that needed some assistance and they allowed that to happen. He practiced with them on a daily basis and was at every game. It speaks highly for his character. He’s going to take the next step. It will be great for him.”

In his last season with the Indians in 2012, the outfielder hit .267 with 12 RBIs and 22 runs scored.

Persico has the option of signing with the Colorado Rockies or heading to UCLA, which officially signed the 6-foot, 3-inch 185 pounder in November as part of the Bruins 2013 signing class.

Ozella said he expects Persico, who is currently playing in the West Coast Collegiate League with the Walla Walla Sweets of Washington, to attend UCLA.

The senior burst onto the scene as a freshman at Hart High School, when he started 27 games and hit .278 with 17 runs scored and 14 RBIs.

During his sophomore year for the Indians, Persico hit .395 with 21 runs scored, 17 RBIs, a .448 on-base percentage and stole 12 bases to earn All-Santa Clarita Valley First Team honors.

“He’s got a real challenge in front of him, but he’s really talented and he really spent his time the right way trying to keep himself ready throughout the year,” Ozella said.

“I talked to him numerous times throughout the year. I know (UCLA head coach John) Savage believes in his talent. I believe in his talent and I know Luke believes in his talent, so the first deal is you have to believe in yourself and I think he’s there.”


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