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April 20, 2014

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Former Bonanza star Kris Bryant taken second overall by Cubs

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The University of San Diego’s Kris Bryant, a Bonanza High School product, is considered one of the top prospects in the upcoming MLB draft. Bryant hit 31 home runs for USD this season and was named the Louisville Slugger Player of the Year.

Kris Bryant

Bonanza High School baseball player Kris Bryant throws the ball during practice at the school Tuesday, March 2, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Kris Bryant is a Chicago Cub.

The former Bonanza High standout was selected Thursday by the Chicago Cubs with the second overall pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, becoming the fourth Las Vegas player taken in the first round of the draft in as many years.

The third baseman Bryant, who experts call the best power hitter in the draft, hit a NCAA record 31 home runs in 59 games this spring for the University of San Diego. He also scored 80 runs — offensive numbers not common in this day-and-age of college baseball with the less lively BBCOR bats.

He was a freshman All-American in 2011 at San Diego, batting .365 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and 57 runs scored. Last year during his sophomore season, Bryant led San Diego in seven offensive categories in being named a first-team All-American. He belted 14 home runs with 59 runs and 57 RBIs.

The 6-foot-5 Bryant was selected in the 18th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 after his senior year at Bonanza, but opted to attend college.

Bryant joins an exclusive list of other locals taken in the first round. That list is highlighted by former Las Vegas High and College of Southern Nevada standout Bryce Harper being selected first overall in the 2010 draft by the Washington Nationals.

Last year, Bishop Gorman High’s Joey Gallo went to the Texas Rangers with the 39th overall pick in the first round. In 2011, Sierra Vista’s Jake Hager was the 30th pick to the Tampa Rays.

Before Harper, the highest Las Vegan selected was Tyler Houston out of Valley High going No. 2 overall to the Atlanta Braves. Houston, now an assistant coach at state champion Coronado, had 63 home runs and 253 RBIs in 700 career games.

In 1995, Chad Hermansen of Green Valley High went No. 10 overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates, hitting 13 career home runs but never establishing himself as an everyday big-leaguer.

David Krynzel, also of Green Valley High, was selected 11th overall in 2000 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and reached the major leagues in 2004. He played 21 games in two seasons, batting just .188.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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