Major League Baseball's draft will be televised tonight, and sometime during the first round, the cameras are expected to be focused on centerfielder Mike Trout, a senior from Millville High School in Millville, N.J.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Trout has been invited to tonight's draft telecast on the MLB Network.
The first 111 picks of the three-day draft will be chosen tonight, covering the first three rounds and compensation picks. Teams have four minutes to make their picks in the first round.
Tomorrow, the draft resumes with the fourth round and is scheduled to go through the 30th. On Thursday, the remainder of the 50-round draft will be completed.
Accepted wisdom has Trout being selected in the first round - he is likely to be gone by the 25th pick.
The Los Angeles Angels have the 24th and 25th selections and are among the teams that have reportedly shown interest.
Trout, who is being advised on the process by Craig Landis, the agent for Phillies pitcher Brett Myers and others, has had every major-league team in touch at one time or another.
As of yesterday, the family was still fielding calls from teams.
"They are calling with signability questions," said the player's father, Jeff Trout, a former minor-league player.
This year, Trout set a single-season South Jersey record with 18 home runs while also hitting .531, with 45 RBIs. He has great speed and athletic ability, and was an all-Cape Atlantic League selection in the American Conference.
"He certainly fits the athletic profile," said Gene Schall, the Phillies' East regional supervisor.
South Jersey's other top high school prospect is Gloucester Catholic shortstop Steve Bruno, who began his career at St. Joseph's Prep before transferring last year. Bruno has committed to the University of Virginia.
There could be other South Jersey high school players drafted, such as Shawnee righthander Anthony Montefusco, who has committed to George Mason University.
One person with South Jersey roots expected to be drafted on the second day is catcher Chris Henderson, a George Mason junior who graduated from Cherokee. Henderson is one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the best catcher in the nation. He batted .413 this season, with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs.
His teammate Mike Modica, a senior lefthander from Washington Township High School, is another likely draft choice. Modica was 11-2 this season and has been drafted twice by Ed Wade. The first time occurred in high school, when Wade was the Phillies' general manager. Wade is now the general manager of the Houston Astros, who selected him in the 46th round last year.
From Southeastern Pennsylvania, the list of high school prospects that could be selected in the draft is headed by hard-slugging Kennedy-Kenrick third baseman and catcher Christian Walker.
For the Wolverines this season, the 6-1, 220-pound senior batted .588 (30 for 51) with 25 RBIs, 19 runs, 8 doubles, 5 triples, and 2 homers. He has signed to play for South Carolina.
In January, Walker, the Catholic League Blue Division's most valuable player, garnered national attention when he won the International High School Power Showcase Home Run Derby at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. He belted 19 homers to beat out 68 other high school players from nine countries.
Before the season, there was talk of Walker, a righthanded batter and thrower, being picked late in the second round or early in the third.
Among the other area high school prospects are Frankford outfielders Edwin "Tito" Rohena and Wander Nunez, Malvern Prep catcher Mike Lubanski, Hill School pitcher Jim Stokes, Penn Charter third baseman Rob Amaro, and Kennedy-Kenrick pitcher-first baseman Derek Barnes.