Selig seeks slotting system, international draft

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“It was definitely frustrating a little bit,” a smiling Greene said. “But, I’m happy now.”

Unlike the NFL and NBA drafts, baseball rarely has players show up at the draft to slip on a hat. After all, the draft was long an event conducted exclusively by conference calls. Since Major League Baseball brought it to MLB Network studios three years ago, Greene is just the second player _ joining Angels first-rounder Mike Trout in 2009 _ to attend.

“My mother told me to come up and be here,” said Greene, who was at the draft with his father, Larry Sr. “I listen to her.”

Greene, wearing a Phillies cap and holding a white team jersey, got a huge round of applause from the fans and former big leaguers in attendance when he was drafted. Former Reds All-Star Eric Davis shook his hand and hugged him. Greene, who signed to play at the University of Georgia, was a high school All-American with loads of power _ like his idol, the Phillies’ Ryan Howard. And someday, maybe he’ll be in the same lineup.

“It’s crazy,” Greene said. “It’s a dream come true coming from a small town in Nashville, Ga. Words can’t describe it.”

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BASEBALL BLOODLINES: The sons of Dante Bichette and Dwight Smith were among the players selected during the draft’s first day.

Dante Bichette Jr., a high school third baseman from Florida, was the New York 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.”

Dwight Smith Jr. was the 53rd overall selection by the Toronto Blue Jays. The speedy Smith is an outfielder, as his father was, and is also committed to the Bulldogs.

California high school right-hander Joe Ross got bragging rights on his brother, Tyson, after being taken 22nd overall by San Diego. Tyson Ross, pitching for Oakland, was a second-round pick of the Athletics in 2008.

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FAMILIAR FACES: Joe Torre started his day by ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ. He ended it by announcing the start of the compensation round at the draft.

The former New York Yankees manager is now Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations.

“It’s a celebration of the past, present and future all coming together,” he said before telling the Washington Nationals they were on the clock with the 34th pick.

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