Marlins select Torrey Pines’ Hurt in MLB Draft

Kyle Hurt was taken by the Marlins in the MLB Draft on Thursday night.
Kyle Hurt, who graduated from Torrey Pines High and pitched at USC, was taken by the Marlins in the MLB Draft on Thursday night.
(Misael Virgen)

Just one San Diego County high school player selected


Names were clicking off, rounds of the MLB Draft were passing by, and Kyle Hurt was getting anxious.

“Then at the end of the fourth round, the Marlins called,” said Hurt, who played at Torrey Pines High and USC. “They said they’d take me in the fifth round if I was interested.

“Heck, yeah, I was interested. And sure enough they took me.”

Hurt was the 134th player chosen in a five-round draft with only 160 players being taken.

Minutes after Hurt was chosen, Carlsbad High shortstop Thomas Saggese was picked by the Texas Rangers.

A Pepperdine commit, Saggese was the 145th player chosen.

He’s the only high school player from San Diego to be drafted. Since the draft started in 1965, only four times has the first San Diego prep player chosen been taken after the fifth round.

A few picks after Saggese, outfielder Leonard (LJ) Jones of Long Beach State, who played at Eastlake High, was taken by the Cardinals.

Hurt, a right-handed pitcher, was 9-13 with a 5.06 ERA in three seasons at USC. But he had 179 strikeouts in 1722/3 innings and was 2-1 this season with a 3.71 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 17 innings.

Despite a 10-homer season as a junior at Carlsbad, Saggese was flying under the MLB Draft radar. He was hitting .440 with three homers and three triples when his prep season ended after seven games.

“For sure this is flattering,” Saggese said. “I stayed out of the talks, let my father and advisors handle that end.”

In 17 games at Long Beach State this season, Jones hit .327 with a pair of homers and nine RBIs.

Undrafted players can sign for $20,000 as free agents.

---John Maffei is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune