Baseball: Regis Jesuit’s Max George taken by Colorado Rockies in MLB Draft

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Class 5A Baseball Championship Series, 5.17.14
Regis Jesuit shortstop Max George became the first Aurora player picked in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when the Colorado Rockies used a sixth-round pick, No. 173 overall, on him. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Regis Jesuit’s Max George became the first player from a city school taken in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when the Colorado Rockies scooped up the slick-fielding infielder in Friday’s sixth round.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound George shifted to shortstop this season from second base and went on to win the Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year award after he hit .458 to lead a potent offensive lineup for coach Matt Darr’s Raiders and tie for the team lead with 33 hits. He also scored 31 runs and drove in 24 for Regis Jesuit, which had a 21-5 record and lost to Rocky Mountain 6-5 in the Class 5A state championship game.

“So blessed to be drafted by the Colorado Rockies; huge thanks to my family, friends, coaches and teammates,” George tweeted after his selection.

George, who signed with Oregon State prior to the season, was the second Colorado prep player selected on the day following Evergreen left-handed pitcher Brock Burke, who was chosen No. 96 overall in the third round by the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Some people are comparing him to (Boston Red Sox star) Dustin Pedroia,” Cherry Creek coach Marc Johnson said in a statement announcing George as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

“He can play, boy,” Johnson continued. “He makes a tremendous impact. He’s a hard-nosed player, and he makes things happen. He can flat-out hit. If I were to build around one player, it would be Max George.”

The Rockies reached into their own backyard yet again for talent, preceding George with the selection of former Thomas Jefferson High School standout left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland with the No. 8 overall pick in Thursday’s opening round.

Colorado took Regis Jesuit’s Brody Weiss — son of manager Walt Weiss and George’s former infield partner — with the No. 649 pick of the 2013 MLB draft and also took former Regis Jesuit outfielder Cole Norton with the 1,159th overall selection.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel