MLB Draft: San Diego Padres take Rancho Bernardo High grad Bernard in 35th round
By Michael Bower
It has been a long emotional ride for 2008 Rancho Bernardo High graduate Wynton Bernard, but the speedy outfielder achieved a lifelong dream last week when the San Diego Padres selected him in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.
As the rounds continued to go by in the MLB draft last Wednesday and Bernard had still not seen his name pop up on the computer screen, he wondered if it was going to happen at all. But then a phone call came from the Padres and his name appeared on the monitor and Bernard started to cry.
“I started bawling,” said Bernard, who began his college career at Niagara University before transferring to Riverside City College after his father died. He went back to Niagara for his junior and senior years. “With my dad passing, and my mother telling me to go fulfill my dreams away from home and then struggling through my junior season; it was really hard, but we did it together as a family.”
Bernard hit .324 with three home runs and 24 RBIs his senior season. But what really captured the attention of scouts was Bernard’s speed around the bases. He had 32 stolen bases in 39 attempts his senior year and was clocked at 6.52-seconds in the 60-yard dash.
“I felt some pressure. I had to live up to the Bernard name,” said Wynton, whose brother Walter played pro football for the Seahawks and another one of his brothers played professional basketball. “I felt pushed because this is what my dad wanted and my mom spent countless hours with me at batting cages. I always wanted to do it for them.”
Bernard said he is under the impression that he will be going to mini camp and starting Minor-A ball shortly.
“It is just so exciting,” said Bernard, who was named First Team All-Conference in the Metro-Atlantic League this past season. “There is nothing else I would rather be doing than going out to play professional baseball; and for my hometown team. It’s just incredible.”
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