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Two USC commits – Nick Pratto and Hans Crouse – taken in first two rounds of MLB Draft

By in Press Enterprise on June 13, 2017

By Joey Kaufman

USC’s incoming baseball recruiting class might lose a pair of its top prospects.

Two of the high school players who have been committed to the Trojans were taken Monday evening in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft.

Their selections leave their college futures up in the air. They are positioned to land lucrative professional contracts as a result of falling near the top of the draft.

Huntington Beach first baseman Nick Pratto, USC’s most high-profile commitment, was picked in the first round by the Kansas City Royals at No. 14 overall. Its signing bonus slot value is $3.7 million, according to MLB.

Pratto, 18, originally pledged to the Trojans in 2013, six months before the then-high school freshman at Mater Dei High played his first prep game. It was one of the first commitments USC coach Dan Hubbs secured after he had been elevated from the interim coach position.

Pratto later transferred to Huntington Beach High in 2015 following his sophomore year.

Baseball America ranked him as its 17th overall prospect in this year’s draft class.

Pratto, who hits left, is adept at the plate. He hit .330 with nine home runs, 33 runs scored and 22 RBI as a senior for Huntington Beach and is regarded for his fielding ability. He can also pitch, though it is anticipated he would start in the minor leagues as a first baseman.

The odds are stacked against USC seeing Pratto arrive on campus.

Last year, 17 high school players were taken in the first round and they all signed professional contracts.

Hans Crouse, a pitcher from Dana Hills High, was taken by the Texas Rangers at No. 66 overall, the second-to-last pick of the second round. The slot value for the pick is $926,500.

The 18-year-old right-hander has been committed to the Trojans since 2015. His older brother, Marrick Crouse, was […]    

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