Two former Santa Monica High stars have made successful debuts in professional baseball.
Tyler Skaggs, who became the 40th selection in the draft after pitching for the Vikings in 2009, broke into the Angels’ farm system at Tempe, then was recently promoted to a higher league with the Orem (Utah) Owlz.
First baseman Cody Decker, the former Santa Monica Little League and Samohi standout, was named MVP of the Arizona League after hitting 15 home runs, driving in 63 runs and batting .353 for the San Diego Padres’ team in the same Arizona league in which Skaggs pitched.
Decker had the benefit of playing the entire schedule because he signed quickly after being chosen in the 22nd round by the Padres.
Skaggs joined Tempe late in its season because he didn’t sign until only one week remained to make a decision. The alternative would have been going to college.
As a result Skaggs pitched in only three games for Tempe. He started twice and worked in relief once, totaling six scoreless innings, a 0.00 ERA, seven strikeouts and one walk.
He was promoted to Orem, where he has pitched once for two innings with three strikeouts.
An Orem teammate, third baseman Casey Haerther, extended his hitting streak to 18 games in the game Skaggs pitched. Haerther was a UCLA teammate of Decker this season and was selected in the fifth round by the Angels.