Former Land O’Lakes High star Dakota Harris drafted by Cardinals

A handful of former bay area prep standouts are taken on the draft’s final day.
Oklahoma junior Dakota Harris (10), a former Land O'Lakes High standout, prepares to catch the ball during a game against Abilene Christian on Feb. 22.
Oklahoma junior Dakota Harris (10), a former Land O'Lakes High standout, prepares to catch the ball during a game against Abilene Christian on Feb. 22. [ BRANDON WADE | AP ]
Published July 11|Updated July 11

He has coached players with more tools and velocity, more pop and range, during his four-decade tenure as Land O’Lakes High baseball coach. But darned if Calvin Baisley can think of a more dedicated lot than the trio of Harris brothers.

At times, it seemed Dylan, Dustin and Dakota spent more time on Calvin Baisley Field than the man after whom the Gators’ ball park is named.

“They’re awesome,” Baisley said. “They live two minutes away from the high school, and there were times in the last 10 years where after a Friday, if I didn’t drag the field before I went home I felt guilty, because I knew they were going to be up there (Saturday). They lived it.”

The youngest of the group, Dakota — who played shortstop at the University of Oklahoma this past season — was selected Tuesday by the Cardinals in the 11th round of the Major League Baseball draft, highlighting another prosperous day for local talent.

Other Day 3 draftees included former Clearwater High standout Nelson “Nelly” Taylor (Red Sox, 11th round), former Mitchell left-handed pitcher Mason Miller (Royals, 14th) and Jefferson right-hander John Valle (Mets, 14th).

The selection of Dakota Harris, comes four years after the A’s drafted Dustin in the 11th round. Dylan, the oldest, starred at Saint Leo University; and the boys’ dad, David, was an All-American pitcher at Division II power Florida Southern in the early 1990s.

Dakota’s baseball ascension has come courtesy of his glove and power. A two-time National Junior College Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year at Polk State, his transition to major Division I baseball was nearly seamless.

As a junior in 2023, Harris led the Sooners with a .328 average this past season and ranked second with 48 RBIs. He managed only seven errors in 201 chances for a .965 fielding percentage.

“You cannot outwork him,” Baisley said. “You tell him what to do in the weight room, he’s going to do it. And if you have to cut it five minutes short to go outside, he’s going to back in later and do it. That’s the way he is.”

Local/state college draftees

Players from area high schools or state colleges drafted Tuesday:

Player/school; Round (Overall); Team

OF Nelly Taylor, Polk State (Clearwater); 11th (328th); Red Sox

SS Dakota Harris, Oklahoma (Land O’Lakes); 11th (335th); Cardinals

RHP Carson Montgomery, FSU; 11th (341st); Padres

LHP Mason Miller, Florida Gulf Coast (Mitchell); 14th (409th); Royals

2B Edrick Felix, Florida Gulf Coast; 14th (419th); White Sox

RHP John Valle, Jefferson; 14th (426th); Mets

RHP Austin Amaral, Stetson; 16th (465th); Nationals

2B Colby Halter, Florida; 17th (496th); A’s

C Drew Cavanaugh, Florida Southern; 17th (510th); Giants

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