Full list of local standouts drafted in 2023 MLB Draft

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Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Pair of local pitchers drafted in 2023 MLB Draft
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Day 2 of the 2023 MLB Draft saw two Central Valley standouts get drafted to the next level.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Day two and three of the 2023 MLB Draft saw multiple Central Valley standouts get drafted to the next level.


Juaron Watts-Brown was selected 89th overall in the third round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Per MLB.com, the former Hanford Bullpup can expect an approximate pick value of $771.5k.

Watts-Brown originally committed to Texas Tech but after injuring his shoulder playing quarterback at Hanford, he went to Long Beach State. There he tossed the school's first nine-inning no-hitter. After transferring to Oklahoma State he led the Big 12 in strikeouts (124) this past season.

Ixan Henderson was then taken with the 245th overall pick in the 8th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

The former Clovis West standout stayed home at Fresno State where he led the Mountain West in strikeouts each of the last two seasons. He's the first Bulldog pitcher to be drafted since Ryan Jensen who went in the first round to the Cubs back in 2019. Henderson's pick value is estimated to be close to $200,000.


Day 3 of the Draft ended Tuesday with three more Central Valley products hearing their name called. In all, five locals were drafted and all of them were pitchers.

Full list:

  • Juaron Watts-Brown (RHP) 89th overall pick in the third round, Toronto Blue Jays , Oklahoma State/Long Beach State (Hanford HS)
  • Ixan Henderson (LHP) 245th overall pick, 8th round, St. Louis Cardinals, Fresno State (Clovis West)
  • Riley Cooper (LHP) 391st overall pick, 13th round, Baltimore Orioles, LSU (Clovis North)
  • T.J. Fondtain (LHP) 423rd overall pick, 14th round, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego State (Buchanan)
  • Isaac Ayon (RHP) 485th overall pick, 20th round, Washington Nationals, Oregon (Buchanan)
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