Dec 23, 2012 9:42 PM by Andrew Masuda

Top 10 Local Sports Stories of '12: McNeil, Haniger become early MLB draft picks

The third pick for the Top 10 Local Sports Stories of 2012 is the early selection of Nipomo High's Ryan McNeil and Cal Poly's Mitch Haniger in the 2012 Major League Draft.

Haniger, a Cal Poly junior outfielder, went first with the 38th overall pick by the Milwaukee Brewers on June 4.The 6'2, 215-pounder was selected in the Compensation Round which followed the first round. Haniger became the second highest draft pick in Cal Poly history. Catcher John Orton was selected with the 25th overall pick by the California Angels in 1987.

Haniger was the Big West Player of the year, becoming just the third Cal Poly player to earn that award. He led the conference in home runs (13) and runs batted in (64). Haniger also posted an impressive .354 batting average and .438 on-base percentage. Haniger stole six bases in 12 attempts.

The following day on June 5, the Chicago Cubs made Nipomo High pitcher Ryan McNeil the 101st overall pick with the sixth pick of the third round.

McNeil said his house became hectic a few minutes before he was drafted. He was on the telephone with representatives from the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs simultaneously.

"Having to make quick decisions because there's not a lot of time I mean teams are on the clock so they have to know hey are going to go, are you going to go. So it was hectic but I got through it," said McNeil just an hour after becoming a Major League draf pick. "It's a dream come true and I'm just really excited to get out there and start playing."

The Long Beach State recruit became the highest drafted Central Coast prep star since Danny Duffy went in the third round at 96 overall in the 2007 Draft to the Kansas City Royals.

McNeil has a fastball clocked in the low 90's with above average offspeed pitch.

The 6-3 right hander dominated for the Titans. He struck out 178 hitters in 122.1 innings with a 1.26 ERA his junior and senior years combined.

McNeil received a signing bonus of nearly $400,000, while Haniger received a bonus of $1,200,000.

KSBY Sports will unveil another top 10 story on Monday.



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