13th round pick Logan Ondrusek RHP McLennan CC
13th round pick Logan Ondrusek RHP McLennan CC
My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!
12th round pick Adam Rosales SS Western Michigan
.309/.511/.407 6 HR 31 RBI 25 BB 22 K 12 for 17 stolen bases
Senior shortstop Adam Rosales (Park Ridge, IL/Maine South HS) of the Western Michigan University baseball team was chosen in the 12th round, 362nd overall, by the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday in the First-Year Player Draft conducted by Major League Baseball. Rosales will soon be assigned to a minor league team in the Reds organization. Rosales was recently named to the All-Mid-American Conference First Team for the second time in his career, becoming the 18th Bronco in the program’s storied history to accomplish that feat * and the first in 15 seasons. The 6-1, 195-pound Rosales finished second in team batting (.309) this season while pacing the club with a .333 average in league contests.
My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!
11th round pick Carlos Fisher RHP Lewis & Clark State
2004: Started Game 1 of the NAIA World Series, throwing a complete game shutout to beat Mount Vernon, striking out 8 batters, while only giving up three hits in the win...led the Warriors in wins with an 8-1 record...sported a 2.55 ERA and held opponents to a .219 average...struck out 63 batters in 74 innings.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Named first team All-Western State Conference in 2003.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played for head coach Mike Simms at Ovarte High School...Kinesiology major at LCSC.
My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!
10th round pick Thomas "Bo" Lanier RHP University of Georgia
2005 (Junior): Made 17 appearances, all in relief...Went 4-2 with a 6.43 ERA overall and 0-0, 8.44 ERA in the SEC (5.1 IP)...Tossed 28 innings overall with 32 hits, 23 runs, 20 earned runs, 16 walks and 30 strikeouts...Opponents batted .294 against him...Picked up wins over Ga. Southern, Ga. State, Furman and #6 Ga. Tech at Turner Field...Career-high six strikeouts in 3.2 IP versus Elon in the season opener...Tied career-high with six strikeouts in 3.0 IP versus Ga. State...Tossed 2.2 inning with four hits, one run, one walk and one strikeout in win over #6 Ga. Tech at Turner Field.
2004 (RS-Sophomore): 2004: One of the top relievers going 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA and two saves in 24 appearances...Recorded 42 strikeouts and 19 walks in 46 innings pitched...Opponents batted .251 against him...Went 1-0 with a 2.49 ERA and two saves in SEC action...Made two appearances a the College World Series against second-ranked Texas...Notched the win in the NCAA Super Regional in Atlanta over third-ranked Georgia Tech that sent the Bulldogs to the College World Series (1.1 IP, 2H, 1R, 0BB)...Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 35th round.
2003 (Sophomore): Appeared in only three games for a total of 2.2 innings, all in relief going 0-0, 10.12 ERA with three walks and two strikeouts...Saw action against Gardner-Webb, Austin Peay and College of Charleston...Possible medical redshirt.
A 2-1 mark, 10.80 ERA in 12 appearances covering a span of 16.2 IP overall and 0-1, 13.50 in 7.1 IP of SEC games...Got a win in 16-3 victory over Ga. Southern on May 9, 2.2 IP, 1H, 1R, 2BB, 0 K...Got the loss in series finale versus Arkansas 16-12(10), 1.1 IP, 5H, 5R and had a chance for a save...Picked up first collegiate win vs. Gardner-Webb on March 6 after a 2-run flare to center cost him a save...Made debut vs. UCONN on Feb. 23, 3 Ks in 2 IP...Took the loss vs. Atlanta Braves, 1 IP, 3H, 4R, 4BB...Opp. BA .382.
High School: Clarke Central where he played for Eric McCraine...Also played football through his sophomore year...As a senior, posted a 5-1 record with a 1.64 ERA and 63 strikeouts...Helped lead the Gladiators to the Region 8 title and fifth place finish in the state as they recorded a 20-6 mark...Named a team captain...As a junior, posted a 4-1 record with a 1.67 ERA...Also had two saves and recorded 33 strikeouts...Competed with the Athens Gladiators Travel Team in summer league competition.
Personal: Born Nov. 20, 1982...Son of Tom and Jan Lanier...His Father, Tom, was a collegiate tennis player...Major: Marketing
Lanier's UGA Career Highs
Innings: 3.2 vs. Kentucky (5/1/04)
Strikeouts: 3 on several occasions, last vs. Georgia State (4/21/04)
9th round pick Milton Loo 3B Yavapai (AZ) College
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawai'i's highest high school draft pick from a year ago is projected to be the first player with ties to the state picked in this week's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Moloka'i's Milton Loo, who earned junior college All-America honorable mention at Yavapai College in Arizona this season, is projected to be picked within the first five rounds, scouts told The Advertiser. Baseball America Online gives him a national ranking of 176th of its top 200 projected selections.
Loo was picked in the 17th round (the 489th overall pick) last year out of Moloka'i High. He was one of five Hawai'i high school players picked last year, but the highest among the group. He went to Yavapai instead. Since he attended a JC, the Reds still had signing "control" of Loo up until last Monday. Loo said he declined an offer of $200,000, or about the amount of a third- or fourth-round pick. He has indicated a desire to return to Yavapai.
"I decided on my own I needed one more year of college before I can become a pro player," Loo said.
But he hasn't totally ruled out signing.
"If they meet or exceed what I'm looking for, I just might sign," said Loo, who did not reveal what amount would sway his decision to sign.
Loo helped his stock with an impressive season at Yavapai, a member of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, an all-wood bat league.
A shortstop all his life, Loo played primarily at third base at Yavapai because the Roughriders' shortstop position was filled by another Hawai'i product in Gered Mochizuki, a 2003 graduate of Baldwin. (Mochizuki was a 49th-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2003.)
Loo didn't miss a beat making the transition from aluminum to wooden bats. He batted .404 with 14 doubles, six triples and five home runs with 38 RBIs. He had 21 steals in 24 attempts. He recently earned honorable mention for the NJCAA Division I All-America team.
"He has power, speed, he hits for average and is a very good defensive player," Yavapai coach Sky Smeltzer said. "He's worked on his body to become a five-tool player."
The adjustment from aluminum to wooden bats was a key transition. It was the first time he used wood, considered harder to hit with because there is less room for error when attempting to make solid contact.
"I like wood way better than metal bats," Loo said. "I never want to go back to metal bats. It feels better. Metal bats sting. You're not using your own strength; you can mis-hit the ball and it will still go far. I like that challenge. You've got to earn your hits (with wooden bats)."
Smeltzer said Loo adjusted so well because "he's very coachable."
"He understands how to use the entire field (when hitting)," Smeltzer said. "He's strong and has a nice stroke."
Loo is one of seven players from Moloka'i who have been drafted. Four signed, but all out of junior colleges (Keith Lu'uloa in 1993, Nathan Starkey and Michael McCutcheon in 1996 and Miles Lu'uloa in 1999). Kekoa Colon did not sign out of high school. Keahi Rawlins went to the University of Hawai'i after Philadelphia picked him in the 36th round in 2002.
With a population of about 7,000, everyone knows just about everyone on the Friendly Isle, Loo said. So it was easy to find role models, such as those drafted before him.
"I really looked up to them as role models," Loo said of previous Moloka'i players who were drafted. "The Lu'uloa brothers, Miles and Keith, they were shortstops. We always used to hear the stories about how they played. Miles used to come to our practices (at Moloka'i High) and he would help us."
7th round pick Brandon Roberts CF Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
2004: Cal Poly's designated hitter and left fielder a year ago, moving to center field this spring ... first-team All-Big West DH in 2004 ... after failing to get a hit in his first two games as a Mustang, put together a school Division I record 25-game hitting streak which was snapped March 21 by Sacramento State ... finished at .379 (No. 11 all-time at Cal Poly) with 13 doubles, a trio of triples, three home runs (Pepperdine, Pacific and Cal State Northridge) and 44 RBIs ... hit .407 in Big West games ... 5-for-11 with six RBIs in Cal State Northridge series ... 7-for-10 in Pacific series with five RBIs ... 20 hits in 34 at-bats (.588) before going just 2-for-13 against Long Beach State ... rebounded with 5-for-10 series against Cal State Fullerton ... played in 59 games with 58 starts, 36 in left field and 22 as designated hitter ... hit leadoff at the start of the year but finished at No. 3 ... team- and Big West-leading 30 steals in 38 attempts ... stole three bases against Santa Clara on Feb. 27 ... 27 multiple-hit games, including eight three-hit games and a four-hit game against Pacific on April 17 ... played summer ball for Anchorage Bucs, hitting .369 for Alaska Baseball League batting title with five doubles, two triples and one home run ... drove in 19 runs in 36 regular-season games with 12 stolen bases ... No. 10 on Baseball America's list of the Alaska Baseball League's top professional prospects for 2005. "He is an impact player offensively and a threat on the bases," said head coach Larry Lee. "He's an excellent line drive gap hitter and has learned how to play center field."
Junior College: A .398 hitter as a freshman at Cuesta College with 15 doubles, five triples, 74 hits and 39 RBIs ... stole 23 of 25 bases en route to first-team All-Western State Conference North Division honors in the outfield ... led Cuesta to 36-10 record, a first-place finish in the Western State Conference's North Division and the first round of the state playoffs ... played summer ball for the San Luis Obispo Blues, hitting .311 with 22 RBIs in 51 games ... stole 29 bases in 33 tries ... hit .355 in fall. Prep: As a senior at Centennial High under head coach Randy Roberts, hit .500 with 14 doubles, two home runs, 23 RBIs and 15 stolen bases ... a Southwest Yosemite League co-most valuable player in 2002 ... led the Golden Hawks to a 25-4 record as the starting second baseman and the CIF-Central Section championship.
Personal: Son of Wade and Marti Roberts ... one brother, Clint ... born Nov. 9, 1984 in Bakersfield ... majors in kinesiology.
6th round pick Jeffrey Stevens RHP Loyola Marymount
Jeff Stevens is in his third season with the Lions... has made himself one of the top pitchers on the staff... had a solid freshman year, a great sophomore year, and coaches are looking forward to his continued success...
Current 2005 season... allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings and struck out eight in start against Saint Mary's on April 1... threw eight innings without a walk against Portland on April 8... picked up second save of the season against UCLA on April 12... struck out six in 6.1 innings of work against Gonzaga on March 25... 2004... An All-West Coast Conference second-team selection as a sophomore after going 6-0 on the season with an ERA of 3.73... threw a team-leading 94.0 innings in 21 appearances and 13 starts... also added four saves for the Lions... ranked third in the West Coast Conference in ERA (3.73), second in opposing batting average (.262), sixth in saves (4), and eighth in innings pitched (94.0)... threw complete game 7-0 shutout against San Francisco to lead Lions to the WCC series win on Apr. 25, 2004, and earn first career WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week selection... held tying run standing on third in both seventh and eighth innings in 8-7 win over then-No. 11 Baylor on Feb. 14... earned his first save of the season against New Mexico State, going 1.1 flawless innings and striking out one in 2-1 win on Feb. 21... 2003... finished season with a 2-3 record and a 7.58 ERA in a team-high 26 appearances... struckout 40 in 38 IP... threw two innings in collegiate debut against Cal (2/7), allowing one run on four hits, while striking out three... struck out only batter he faced in Feb. 9 game against the Bears... pitched perfect inning against Washington (2/15)... earned first win as a Lion, throwing two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five in 5-4 victory over Cal Poly (2/21)... upped his record to 2-0 throwing final 1.1 innings of a 7-6 victory over San Jose State (3/1), allowing two runs on four hits as the Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win it... threw two scoreless innings against USF (3/22), allowing just one hit, while striking out two... allowed one run on one hit in 1.2 IP against USD (3/28) with two strikeouts... threw 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits, in LMU's 11-6 victory over Long Beach State (4/1)... threw a perfect inning against CS Fullerton (4/8), striking out two... pitched a scoreless inning against Pepperdine (4/12)... earned first collegiate start, but did not figure into the decision, against USC (4/15), allowing two runs on four hits in three innings of work... had best outing of the season, allowing just one hit in three innings of work in the second game of a doubleheader against Gonzaga on April 19...
Graduated in 2002 from Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA... a three-year letterwinner for Coach Max Luckhurst... was team captain his final two seasons... an All-Diablo Foothill Athletic League selection as a sophomore, junior and senior... an All-Contra Costa selection as senior... team MVP as a senior.. DFAL Pitcher of the Year... 2000 batting champion (.453)... team won the North Coast in 2000...
Jeffrey Allen Stevens was born on Sept. 5, 1983, in Berkeley, CA... son of William and Amy Stevens... has a brother, Mike... also recruited by Arizona, Cal, and Long Beach State... a sociology major.
5th round pick James Avery RHP Niagra University
2004 Academic All-MAAC
2003 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball
2003 MAAC Freshman of the Year
2004: Made 12 appearances, starting eight…Had the second-most starts on the team…Recorded a team-low 3.86 ERA while posting a 3-1 record…Held batters to a .274 average, MAAC opponents .255…Picked up first win of the season allowing five-hits and nine strikeouts over seven innings of work vs. Saint Peter’s (Apr. 17)...Won third game by striking out eight in 8.1 innings vs. Marist (May 10)...Pitched 8.2 innings against Manhattan in the MAAC Tournament…Lone save came in three innings of work at Manhattan (Mar. 27)…MAAC All-Academic.
2003: Named MAAC Freshman of the Year and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball…Started all 13 appearances…Second-most starts on the team…Led the team in wins (7) and strikeouts (63), and was second on the team in ERA (3.64), opposing batting average (.225), win-loss percentage (.778), innings pitched (81.2), and games started (13)…Ranked fourth in the MAAC in wins.
Central Collegiate High School: Selected in the 29th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Minnesota Twins…Member of the Canadian Junior National Team which finished fourth in the 2001 World Junior games.
Personal: Born June 10, 1984, in Maple Creek, Sask….Son of Brent and Corrie Avery…Has two younger sisters, Kelly, and Sandra…Majoring in economics and finance.
4th round pick Sam Lecure RHP No school (formerly Texas)
Sam Lecure's Texas Longhorns faced Romero's Titans in the CWS final last season, but Lecure (despite finishing fifth overall in the THT Pitcher Rankings for the season) could not manage to hold off Fullerton in the deciding game. Lecure pitched brilliantly, but Fullerton scored the decisive runs off the bullpen after he left in the seventh inning.
Lecure is not a strikeout specialist or a fireballer; he's a solidly built control artist who depends on his defense and keeping the ball in the park, which he did as well as anyone last season. His average fastball is backed up with a fine slider and he works the bottom of the strike zone. His 9-3 record could have been much better, but the colorful Lecure had many short starts in order to give work to the superb Texas bullpen. He should work longer outings in 2005.
3rd round pick Zach Ward RHP Gardner-Webb
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb junior Zach Ward got a phone call in the midst of 25 or so family and friends Tuesday afternoon, and smiled ear to ear as he learned that he had been picked early in the Major League Baseball Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound fireballer immediately informed the gathering that he knew where he was going, but wanted to keep it a surprise for just a few more minutes – as he kept everyone on edge waiting for his name to be called on the live video stream at MLB.com.
Seconds later, Ward’s secret was out – he had been chosen in the third round by the Cincinnati Reds (92nd overall).
Ward is the third Gardner-Webb player to be drafted by a Major League team in the past three seasons, but became the most heralded pick ever for a Diamond ‘Dog in the regular June phase of the first year player draft – surpassing former Bulldog David Heffner, who was tabbed in the ninth round (200th overall pick) by the Montreal Expos in 1973.
Ward was taken ahead of several notable collegiate prospects, including highly touted Matthew Maloney of Ole Miss (#97) and preseason All-Americans Taylor Teagarden of Texas (#99) and Ryan Mullins of Vanderbilt (#105).
The former Kannapolis (N.C.) A.L. Brown High standout won seven games for Gardner-Webb in 2005, finishing among the Atlantic Sun Conference’s leaders in ERA (3.63) and leading the league in strikeouts (127) and strikeouts per nine innings pitched (10.5). He allowed only 18 extra base hits in 429 at bats on the season – holding opponents to a frigid .328 slugging percentage and only a .238 batting average overall, which also ranked him among the league leaders. His 127 strikeouts set a new single season mark for GWU as well.
Ward’s crowing achievement came on February 19, 2005 in Rock Hill, S.C., as he fanned 11 in a complete-game no hitter vs. Akron. That no hitter was the first for a GWU pitcher in 31 seasons.
For his three-year career, the former Freshman All-America choice finished fifth in GWU history in wins (17), first in career strikeouts (284) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.8). During his time with the Diamond ‘Dogs, Ward picked up several notable wins over major Division I opponents, including top-30 programs Georgia, UCF and Florida Atlantic as a freshman in 2003 – along with UCF and Troy this season.
“I’m extremely excited and happy going this high to the Reds,” Ward said after signing a dozen or so baseballs. “Cincinnati is a team I feel that I can help quickly and advance faster than some others that were interested. Before the draft, my advisors told me there were three teams I should be very happy to be chosen by – just because they felt I could move through the system quicker – and the Cincinnati Reds were one of those three, so I’m really happy with that and can’t wait to get started.”
Ward, who was rated the No. 13 prospect in the prestigious Cape Cod League following an outstanding summer season in 2004 by Baseball America, is confident in a hard and heavy fastball that has reached into the 95-96 mph range and a slider/power curve that was clocked as high as 87 at the recent A-Sun Tournament. He has grown tremendously since arriving at Gardner-Webb in August, 2002, without much fanfare. He was rated as high as the No. 27 college prospect available by Baseball America in its mid-season draft preview.
“My time at Gardner-Webb has been a great experience, for sure,” Ward added. “I made a great choice and am grateful to Coach (Rusty) Stroupe and (GWU pitching coach Dan) Roszel for giving me the opportunity and the chance to succeed. Coach Stroupe has been a great role model for me in terms of character and has really helped me mature as a person. Other than arm speed, which you can’t teach, Coach Roszel has taught me everything I know about pitching – and how to pitch. I came here three years ago as a thrower. With his help, now I’m a pitcher.”
Ward joins former rotation mates Jeff Long (Atlanta Braves, 12th round, 2004) and Joey Siak (St. Louis Cardinals, Free Agent) as GWU pitchers who have gone on to professional baseball since Stroupe’s arrival prior to the 2003 season. The trio made up Gardner-Webb’s weekend rotation during much of the 2004 campaign.
“It’s a thrill to see Zach have the opportunity to go on to the professional ranks in baseball,” said Stroupe – who has led GWU to three-straight finishes in the Atlantic Sun Conference’s top-5. “When you have a guy drafted this high – in the top-100 picks – it creates national exposure for our baseball program and Gardner-Webb University, in addition to Zach. We’re pulling for him to make it to the Big Leagues, and feel like he’s got a great shot to get there.
“His development as a baseball player has been fun to watch, but I’m even more proud of the great character he has shown. He’s going to be a great representative for our university and the baseball program.”
1st round pick Jay Bruce CF Westbrook HS
BEAUMONT - Red. They didn't know why, but when Martha and Joe Bruce woke up Tuesday, red just felt right.
Martha slept in, something she hasn't done in quite a while. Joe got up at 6:30 a.m., his usual time. When they got dressed, each at different times, they picked out red.
It seemed like this day, the day when a Major League Baseball team selected their son Jay in the amateur draft, would never come.
The Cincinnati Reds, of course, did the favor, selecting Bruce with the No. 12 overall pick. It ended a process that had been 18 years in the making. In truth, the last 18 months alone felt like a decade or two.
Joe and Martha were expecting a big crowd at their household on Jackson Street, and honestly, they didn't have much time to spend on their attire.
So Joe threw on a red golf shirt and some black cargo shorts. A few hours later, when she woke up, Martha put on a red tank top and white Capri pants.
Hmmmm. Red, black and white. Where had they seen those colors before?
By noon, more than 75 people - coaches, teachers, teammates, friends of the family - crowded together in the Bruces' den on Jackson Street, waiting to hear a voice on the Internet speak Jay Bruce's name.
"I wasn't nervous," Joe said. "(I was) More anxious than anything. It's hard to explain. Most kids don't get to have anything like this. He's living a dream. We're all living it."
It came true at around 12:20 p.m., when the Reds' selection came up. Until then, before every pick, everyone got really quiet. They were all standing, all waiting for the name.
When the voice said "Jay Buh-ruce," the den looked more like a shootout in the World Cup final. Hands shot straight up, right toward the ceiling. A giant roar bounced off the walls, and suddenly no one could hear the voice extolling Jay Bruce's strong arm and sound base-running skills.
It was official: Jay Bruce, 12th overall selection, to the Reds.
It's not every day someone goes from West Brook High School to guaranteed millions.
"When Jay started hitting left-handed with a plastic bat in diapers," Joe said, "I knew he had something."
Joe called Tuesday the greatest of his life. Someone thought that might get him in trouble with his wife (Hel-lo-oo? Wedding day?), but Martha said the same thing, too.
The knot in her throat swelled up when she went before the cameras, saying just how proud she was of Jay and his two sisters.
"We wouldn't regret anything," Martha said later. "We've been all kinds of places. We've met tons of people. We absolutely could not have done this without the help of the community."
The Bruces, you understand, are like almost everyone else - they work hard, make ends meet and enjoy life. But enjoying life won't get you into those meat-market baseball camps, the ones that can drive up a young prospect's stock. It takes money to get to Nevada or Maryland or Florida, or wherever the next big showcase is.
So the Bruces took out loans, used the credit card and got financial help from friends. It paid off, as Jay's potential zoomed from third-round status last year to the top 20.
"There were times where we really couldn't afford to go all the places we've been," Martha said. "But we found a way. Now Jay is financially secure, and he can climb to the top of the game."
It's been a long climb already.
Jay was born April 3, 1987, just a few months before the Seattle Mariners selected Ken Griffey Jr. in the amateur draft.
Growing up, Jay loooooved Griffey.
He had a Griffey poster on his wall, a Mariners cap on his head and Griffey baseball cards in his room, where he wrote letters to the All-Star center fielder.
"I tried calling the stadium one time looking for him," Jay said. "I don't even think I had the right number."
He never did get a hold of Griffey, but it's funny how things work out sometimes. Years later, Seattle traded Griffey to the Reds, and years later, the Reds drafted a young center fielder out of high school - name of Jay Bruce, a strong-armed prospect from Beaumont, Texas.
The Reds covet Bruce as a right fielder. So it's conceivable that if Griffey's legs hold up, the kid who once idolized him might go to work in the very same clubhouse. Wouldn't that be something?
"Maybe one day," Jay said Tuesday, ear-to-ear smile on his face.
Less than an hour after word came down, teammate Justin Hoose was already in the mall. He and a few buddies walked into a store - you know, the one that specializes in lids - and walked up to the front counter.
"Give me every Cincinnati Reds hat you've got," he demanded.
"Yeah, right," said the girl behind the counter, assuming it was a joke.
"No," Hoose insisted. "I'm not kidding."
They left with a bag full of caps, all cherry red with a fancy "C" on the front. They didn't have Jay's head size (71/2), so he had to improvise. The 75/8 size still looked pretty good.
It was quite an afternoon for all the friends, all the family members, and for 18-year-old Hannah Eastham.
As Jay's girlfriend of six months, Hannah watched Jay's cell-phone directory transform from a list of buddies and coaches to an index of baseball's biggest power brokers.
According to Baseball America, some clubs were a bit timid when Jay hired super-agent Scott Boras as an adviser. He has long since replaced Boras with Matt Sosnick, and his phone has barely stopped ringing over the last few months.
"Advisers, scouts, GMs, scouting directors - they never stopped calling," Hannah said. "The good thing is (that) the Reds had been showing a lot of interest lately, so you know he means a lot to them."
Jay, too, had been more anxious than nervous the last few days. But there were moments. C'mon; they happen to everybody.
"He had trouble sleeping," Hannah said. "He didn't eat lunch the other day because of his stomach."
Hey, butterflies are just the beginning.
What was it the famous rapper said - more money, more problems? Even if they're good problems to have?
There's a press conference on Friday in Cincinnati, perhaps the best baseball town in America. Sit-down interviews with The Cincinnati Enquirer and USA Today.
Then contract negotiations.
At some point, the Reds will assign Jay Bruce somewhere to a minor league that's filled with high-round picks who never made the grade. Those guys are all pros, all gunning for the same dream Jay's had for 18 years.
And for the first time, Jay won't be home in Beaumont year-round. Whether you're 18 or 80, that's a big adjustment. It will be for Jay, for Mom, for Dad and for Hannah, too.
"I'm really not worried about it," Hannah said. "I might have worried before, but we're pretty solid. ... We just got on the same cell-phone plan with Verizon."
After the Reds made dreams come true on Jackson Street, people were leaving the Bruces' household. But Jay was still looking for a spot to settle down and let it sink in.
"Mind if I sit down?" he asked a visitor. "Man. Can't believe it. Going 90 mph to 0 here."
Just then, the madness broke out again. Hoose and his buddies came back from the mall, and the Reds caps came out of the bag.
Everyone tried them on, offering handshakes and smiles and hugs.
There was plenty of everything to go around.
18th round pick Kevyn Feiner SS Sun Prairie (WI) HS
Feiner tossed a no-hitter for the Sun Prairie baseball team in a 9-0 victory over Madison West on April 14 and has helped the Cardinals win their last 23 Big Eight Conference games. The senior, who will play at the University of Illinois next season, was 4-0 with a 1.96 earned-run average and 24 strikeouts in 25 innings through Friday. He also was batting .444 with three doubles, a home run and 14 RBI. Also a shortstop, Feiner was a first-team all-conference utility player last season. He also was a first-team all-conference quarterback last fall.
Notes: Led Sun Prairie H.S. to the Big Eight Conference title in 2004 • Named to the All-Big Eight Conference team as a utility player in 2004 • Hit .308 in 2004 and .328 in 2003 • Also excelled as a pitcher for Sun Prairie, leading the team with six wins while posting a 2.08 ERA and striking out 42 in 40.1 innings in 2004• Lettered in baseball and football two years apiece • Named All-Big Eight first team quarterback in 2004 • Threw for 1,385 yards and 11 touchdowns, and rushed for 588 yards and eight touchdowns in 2004 • Brothers Kasey and Korey each played collegiate baseball, Kasey at Wisconsin-La Crosse and Korey at Wisconsin-Oshkosh • Korey was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 2004 as a catcher.
Coach Jones on Feiner: "Kevin is another shortstop who we think he can play any position in the infield. He's well balanced, very athletic. He runs well and he's a very good fielder with good arm strength. As a hitter he can use all fields. The thing we really like about him is he's a high-energy player. He's very enthusiastic, very supportive and has great leadership qualities."
27th round pick Ken Smalley SS St. Charles (IL) HS
By Erik Jacobsen
ST. CHARLES — When Kenny Smalley transferred from Batavia to St. Charles North before the school year, the stage was set for quite a baseball reunion.
Five years ago, Smalley and a number of current North Star baseball players barnstormed the area, providing plenty of offensive fireworks as members of the Wasco Baseball League traveling team.
This season, with Smalley batting fourth in a loaded North batting order, the North Stars seem to be scoring runs at will.
The North Stars are tallying 7.6 runs per game and had a team on-base percentage of .443 and team batting average of .340 through last week. The offensive prowess is a big reason why North captured a share of the Upstate Eight Conference title.
The Stars now hope the run support translates into a run deep into the playoffs, which they begin today with a St. Charles East Regional semifinal game against Elgin at 4:30 p.m.
"Just like our old Wasco teams back in the day, we all can hit and we have a lot of good chemistry," Smalley said. "That is a big reason why we're having a great year."
For any opponent, the middle of North's lineup resembles a high school Murderers' Row. Batting third is Kevin Schuetz (.465, 4 home runs, 20 RBIs), then Smalley (.464, 8 HRs, 44 RBIs) and then Andrew Vycital (.406, 4 HRs, 21 RBIs) in the No. 5 spot.
Although that trio provides plenty of pop, their effectiveness wouldn't quite be the same without solid table-setters like Andrew Elke (.366, 27 walks, 11 stolen bases) at the top of the order or without clutch batters like Jason Javers (.386, 3 HRs, 19 RBIs) near the bottom.
"I think we just have a lot of hitters that complement each other really well," Vycital said. "A lot of our players know their role and fit in that role perfectly, and it seems like everyone provides timely hitting."
"One day the top of the lineup can do great and the next day the bottom of the lineup does great," added Schuetz. "It is always nice on those days when your seven, eight and nine hitters all go 3-for-4."
However, Smalley stands alone at the center of North's success. Whether it is at the plate or on the mound — where he is 6-1 this season with a 1.93 ERA and 55 strikeouts (through last Thursday) — he is consistent contributor.
A year ago, the 6-foot-2 senior was busy guiding Batavia to its first state quarterfinal in school history. That experience is one of the many positives North coach Todd Genke sees in Smalley.
"When we found out that Kenny was coming over, with his state playoff experience, I knew that was going to be a huge benefit for us because obviously we didn't have any kids that could claim that," Genke said. "But he also has a tremendous work ethic, and that rubs off on the other players.
"The best thing was that he wasn't the kind of kid that came in and thought he was better than everyone else. He almost felt like he had to prove himself all over again here."
Although it was tough leaving his friends and teammates at Batavia, Smalley said having familiar faces awaiting him at North made the transition easier.
For the North Stars, easy transitions have been the name of the game this season. In his first year as head coach, Genke — an assistant under former coach Jim Smedley the past three years — has had plenty to work with.
"This is a pretty senior-laden lineup," Genke said. "The guys have worked really hard on a daily basis to improve in all aspects, and I think our kids have really evolved and bought into what we are doing here."
The North Stars' experience certainly showed last week when Smalley, fellow senior Rob Currie and Schuetz pitched them to three straight must-win games against Larkin to capture a share of the conference crown. Now North hopes to apply the confidence it gained in winning seven of its last eight games to a lengthy postseason run.
"To win how ever many games it takes to win state, you have to have some momentum," Vycital said. "After sweeping Larkin, that was definitely a huge momentum lift, and now we just need to ride that wave."
• Waubonise Valley, several days after the season ended, has been declared co-champion of the UEC. A further reading of the bylaws regarding baseball and number of games played determined that North and Waubonsie — despite North winning one more game because of the unbalanced schedule — are co-champions. Area coaches had been under the impression that the team with the best winning percentage — regardless of number of games played — would be the champion.
FWIW - The Reds 50th pick was Jake Christen, who was one of the top QB recruits this past fall.
Unless Iowa decides in the next two months they don't like Five star blue chip starting QB's, he'll be a Hawkeye come August.
If he's any good, sign him and let him do both.Originally Posted by jmcclain19
Can't win with 'em
Can't win without 'em