Canyon graduate Charles Harrison is the latest Santa Clarita product to enter the professional baseball world.
Harrison was drafted with the 215th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, making him the first Canyon Cowboy to enter the big leagues since Major League Baseball all-star Zach Britton.
“It feels unreal,” Harrison said via social media direct message. “I’ve been working for this my whole life and to get drafted is just a dream come true. I couldn’t ask to get drafted by a better organization.”
The Canyon alumnus spent four years at UCLA, where he became a vital member of the Bruins bullpen.
Harrison, a right-handed pitcher, gained momentum every year at UCLA and stacked one improved season after another. The righty finished off his collegiate career with a 37-strikeout and eight-walk season, going 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA.
“UCLA has helped me out a ton,” Harrison wrote. “It has helped me mature on so many levels, and the coaches there have really helped me get ready for this next step.”
Harrison was one of six Bruins drafted into MLB. UCLA teammates Darius Perry and Kyle Karros, son of former Los Angeles Dodger Eric Karros, were taken by the Rockies. Fellow Bruin pitchers Alonzo Tredwell (Astros), Jake Brooks (Marlins) and Ethan Flanagan (Cubs) were also drafted.
UCLA will still feature West Ranch alumnus James Hepp, who just completed his sophomore year.
At Canyon, Harrison finished with 137 strikeouts, mostly from his junior and senior years. The pitcher nearly cut his walks and hits totals from his junior season in half in his senior campaign when he went from 71 hits all season to 43.
The righty had talked with the Cardinals organization a week before the draft but knows anything can happen when teams are on the clock. The Redbirds calling him was a breath of fresh air for the former Cowboy.
Harrison will now prepare to get to work with St. Louis’ single-A affiliate in Florida, the Palm Beach Cardinals.
“I’m pumped,” Harrison wrote. “I can’t wait to get out to Palm Beach, meet everyone and hit the ground running.”