SECAUCUS, N.J. - Mike Trout said the wait was excruciating but well worth it. Trout, the only draft choice to attend Major League Baseball's first-year player draft last night at MLB Network headquarters, waited slightly less than two hours before being selected with the 25th pick of the first round by the Los Angeles Angels.
"I was nervous, but now I'm happy with it," the Millville High centerfielder said. "The Angels have a great winning history, and it's a great team to be with."
A source with a major-league team said yesterday that Trout had let it be known that his asking price for a bonus would be $2.5 million.
His father, Jeff, confirmed that number last night. The Trouts were advised in the draft process by Craig Landis, the agent for Phillies pitcher Brett Myers, among others.
Trout became the second player from South Jersey to be chosen in the draft's first round. In 2006, Bishop Eustace shortstop Billy Rowell was taken ninth by the Baltimore Orioles.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Trout set a single-season South Jersey record this year with 18 home runs. He batted .531 with 45 RBIs. In his career, Trout hit 31 home runs and had 121 RBIs.
Trout was the 12th high school player selected and the sixth outfielder taken in the first round.
He said he knew just a few minutes before the selection that the Angels had taken him after his mother received a text message.
He said he was glad he attended the draft, despite the wait for his selection. "There was a lot of pressure," Trout said. "It would have been bad if I hadn't been picked."
The Angels had consecutive picks in the first round and selected outfielders with both.
With the 24th selection, the Angels picked Randal Grichuk, a leftfielder from Lamar Consolidated High in Texas.
That Trout was the only draft prospect to show up last night was not lost on baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
"I give him all the credit in the world," Selig said. ". . . Anybody who had that kind of confidence and comes here and goes through that I think is tremendous."
Teams made 111 selections last night, including the first three rounds and compensation picks.
The 50-round draft resumes today. Rounds four through 30 are expected to be completed, with the final rounds concluding tomorrow.
Flamethrower goes first. To no one's surprise, the Washington Nationals chose San Diego State junior righthander Stephen Strasburg, owner of a 102-m.p.h. fastball, with the first pick.
This season, Strasburg went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA. He had 195 strikeouts and 19 walks in 109 innings.
At No. 2, Seattle chose North Carolina's Dustin Ackley, who played first base after Tommy John surgery but is expected to be a centerfielder. The first high school player cosen was Donovan Tate, a centerfielder from Georgia taken third by the San Diego Padres.