Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Baseball: Trojans lose top two signees
By Pedro Moura
USC 2011 signees Tustin (Calif.) third baseman Travis Harrison and Edison (Calif.) shortstop Christian Lopes each signed with the MLB organizations that selected them in June's draft just minutes before Monday's midnight ET deadline, leaving the Trojans without their top two prospects for this year's class.
Harrison, a supplemental first round selection of the Minnesota Twins, signed for a reported $1.1 million. Lopes, who was thought to have potential to turn down an MLB team and go to USC, signed with the Toronto Blue Jay, who took him in the seventh round, for a reported $800,000.
The Trojans' five other signees who were picked in June -- Palm Desert (Calif.) outfielder Ryan Garvey, Gilbert (Ariz.) left-hander Stephen Tarpley, Villa Park (Calif.) right-hander Wyatt Strahan, Junipero Serra (Calif.) third baseman Trent Boras and St. John Bosco (Calif.) shortstop Dante Flores -- all turned down MLB teams and will enroll in classes at USC beginning next Monday.
There were also three players from last year's team that were selected in the draft and had not yet signed as of Monday, deadline day: first baseman Ricky Oropesa and right-handers Austin Wood and Andrew Triggs. Oropesa signed with the San Francisco Giants for a reported $550,000 bonus; he was selected in the 3rd round by the Giants after entering the 2011 season as a projected first-rounder.
Triggs, also drafted by the Giants in the 21st round, chose not to sign with the team that drafted him for the second straight year. He had been selected in the 24th round by the Cleveland Indians in 2010 but returned to school for his redshirt junior season in 2011. Wood, a junior transfer from St. Petersburg College in Florida, signed with the Los Angeles Angels for a reported $180,000, a giant drop-off from the figure he rejected from the Tampa Bay Rays a year ago.
Four other 2011 draftees who played for the Trojans last season have signed with their MLB teams over the last two months and begun their minor-league careers: infielders Joe De Pinto (White Sox) and Shane Boras (Athletics) and right-handers Logan Odom (Angels) and Chad Smith (Tigers).