DENVER -- Poway (Calif.) High School third baseman Tyler Nevin brings big league pedigree and a big-time bat. That was enough to entice the Rockies to select him 38th overall in Monday's MLB Draft.
Nevin, a UCLA recruit, is son of former big leaguer Phil Nevin, who was the first overall choice in the 1992 Draft out of Cal State-Fullerton. Tyler Nevin might have grown up around the game, but that didn't lessen the thrill of the phone call that came with 30-40 people at his house.
"It was something I'll never forget," the younger Nevin said. "I was just so happy I could experience it with all my family and friends, who have been with me from the beginning. I'm just excited to start."
The Rockies selected four high school players on the first night of the Draft -- Lake Mary (Fla.) shortstop Brendan Rodgers third overall; Stroudsburg (Pa.) righty Mike Nikorak 27th overall, as compensation for losing outfielder Michael Cuddyer to the Mets via free agency; Nevin and San Dimas (Calif.) righty Peter Lambert (like Nevin, a UCLA recruit) 44th overall, in Round 2.
Nevin recalls being 10 or 11 years old, traveling with his dad, who was playing for the Cubs, and being on the Coors Field playing surface.
"I was just shagging -- I was real shy back then, so I didn't really get into the mix and try to hit," said Nevin, 18. "I was just glad I could experience that with him."
Now Nevin, who said signing isn't a done deal but he is eager to begin his pro career, is looking to experience his own big league days.
Recovered from a 2013 Tommy John right elbow surgery that cost him the 2014 season, Nevin returned to hit five home runs his senior high school season. Listed a 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Nevin has a frame that scouts believe can carry an additional 30 pounds. Nevin, who said he could play any number of positions if necessary, said he was happy he rebounded, health-wise.
"It was a huge relief," said Nevin. "Halfway through, I didn't know if it was going to work out, but as we kept going through the process, I was convinced I would make it back, to the point that now it's not even a thought. I had the right people working with me, I worked hard, and it's better now."
Nevin and Lambert were the 49th- and 50th-ranked players, respectively, on the MLB.com Draft Prospects list. They roomed together on their recruiting trip to UCLA.
Rockies vice president scouting Bill Schmidt said projecting Nevin's future is exciting.
"He's an athletic kid; he's going to be a corner player, athletic enough that if you have to move him to the outfield, he can play out there," Schmidt said. "First and foremost, he's got the potential to hit, and hit with power."
Nevin's Draft slot, 38th, is valued at $1,626,500 under the MLB Draft slotting system.