E.V. prospects eye MLB amateur draft - East Valley Tribune: Sports

E.V. prospects eye MLB amateur draft

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Posted: Saturday, June 5, 2010 6:00 pm

Although the local senior high school baseball class is weak when compared to years past, it's still an exciting time for the group of 17- and 18-year-olds awaiting the call of their name in the major league amateur draft Monday through Wednesday.

While there is no consensus top-rated high schooler in Arizona this season, there will be a large group drafted by the end of the festivities.

Desert Ridge third baseman Travis Flores has worked out for multiple teams and has a 'rough idea' of a handful of teams that may draft him, but is still looking forward to hearing his name called.

"I'm excited," he said. "I'm just kind of waiting to see what happens. It's always what I've wanted. We all play to get drafted."

Flores is one of a handful of East Valley seniors that could be the first local picked, along with Desert Mountain's Taylor Lindsey, Pinnacle's T.C. Mark, Gilbert's D.J. Peterson, Hamilton's Jorge Flores and Chaparral's Konner Wade.

Position switches, the conversion from metal to wood bats, signability and various other factors will contribute to which player goes where.

"It's a crapshoot," Desert Mountain coach Bryan Rice said.

At least the high school players get to relax and wait for their names to be announced.

Arizona State has a pair of right-handers - Seth Blair and Jordan Swagerty - who could go in the first round of the draft on Monday.

Both will be playing in the Tempe Regional for the Sun Devils over the weekend as they attempt to make a run to the College World Series.

The timing may not be ideal, but it's something college players have to deal with every year.

"It's a beast you can't hide from," coach Tim Esmay said. "You must embrace that and understand that."

Raoul Torrez went through it for the first time last season as a junior, but said keeping the focus on the game isn't very tough, even with big-time signing bonuses at stake.

"I try and tell the guys, the draft is just a day in your career," Torrez said. "It doesn't mean that you've made it, and it doesn't mean that you haven't made it if you haven't been picked high. It's cool to celebrate it, but we've got a big task at hand. People that are in pro ball now say going to Omaha and playing in the World Series is one of the coolest things they've ever done. You tell them to enjoy it for a little while, and congratulations, but it's not going to dictate your entire career."


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