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Yankees Take Dante Bichette Jr. With Pick No. 51 In MLB Draft

Dante Bichette stands with his son, Dante Bichette Jr, after the United States Semifinal of the Little League World Series on August 24, 2005. (credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Dante Bichette stands with his son, Dante Bichette Jr, after the United States Semifinal of the Little League World Series on August 24, 2005. (credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The son of Dante Bichette was among the players selected during the MLB draft’s first day. And one day he just might make his debut in the Bronx.

Dante Bichette Jr., a high school third baseman from Florida, was the Yankees’ first pick at No. 51. He has committed to the University of Georgia, but the Yankees are surely hoping he develops into an All-Star slugger like his dad.

“Dante is one of the guys in this draft we thought had an impact bat and the potential to hit for big power in the middle of the order,” said Damon Oppenheimer, Yankees vice president of amateur scouting. “He’s someone with an advanced makeup and work ethic who possesses the desire and drive to be a special major leaguer.”

Statement from the Yankees:

The New York Yankees tonight selected 18-year-old third baseman Dante Bichette Jr. out of Orangewood Christian High School in Maitland, Fla., with their first selection (51st pick overall in Compensation Round A) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Bichette, listed at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, batted a team-high .640 (55-for-86) with 58 runs 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 40 RBI in 30 games as a senior in 2011, as Orangewood Christian fell in the Florida Class-2A state finals. He has been named the “All-Central Florida Baseball Player of the Year” by the Orlando Sentinel in each of the last two seasons. Following his junior year, he was selected as an Under Armour All-American and named his team’s most valuable player.

He is the son of former Major Leaguer Dante Bichette, who played in 1,704 career games across parts of 14 seasons with California, Milwaukee, Colorado, Cincinnati and Boston, batting .299 with 274 home runs.

“Dante is one of the guys in this draft we thought had an impact bat and the potential to hit for big power in the middle of the order,” said Damon Oppenheimer, Yankees Vice President of Amateur Scouting. “He’s someone with an advanced makeup and work ethic who possesses the desire and drive to be a special major leaguer.”

The right-handed batter was ranked by Baseball America as the 15th-best overall player out of the state of Florida in this year’s draft. In 2005, Bichette participated in the Little League World Series with his Maitland, Fla. team.

The selection of Bichette marks the fourth straight year the Yankees have taken a high school player with their first selection in the First-Year Player Draft.

Was Bichette a good value at No. 51? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)