Hawaii and Alaska made their greatest impact ever on the draft in 2000, and Hawaii has a chance to establish another first this year. Stanford righthander Justin Wayne was the highest-drafted native Hawaiian a year ago, going fifth overall to the Expos. Righthander Brandon League could be the earliest high school selection, eclipsing the standard of Giants prospect Jerome Williams (39th overall, 1999). Alaska produced its highest draft pick in 2000 when righthander Brian Montalbo was picked in the fourth round by the Braves. There isn't a player of that stature this year.
Projected First-Round Picks
Brandon League. Hawaiians play in obscurity much of the year and tend to be drafted a round lower than their talent warrants. League may be the exception. He got exposure last summer as a dominant member of the Team USA junior squad and, if anything, has gotten stronger this year. He was used erratically as both a starter and reliever, making it difficult for scouts to schedule trips in to see him. League throws from a three-quarters slot and gets excellent action on a fastball that usually hovers at 90-91 mph and has been clocked as high as 96. He also throws a curve, circle change and slider, but his low arm slot makes it difficult to execute those pitches. His change has good diving action.
Projected Second-Fifth Round
Bronson Sardinha. Bronson is the third of three Sardinha brothers. Both Dane (now in the Reds system) and Duke left Hawaii to attend college at Pepperdine, and Bronson will play there as well unless he signs. He could go as high as the second round. He differs from his brothers in that he's a lefthanded hitter, but he has a better frame at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds. He played shortstop in high school but doesn't have the quickness and balance to stay there. He'll likely end up at third base. Like his brothers, he has excellent arm strength.
Others to watch:
RHP Kenny Terpsma held his own in some of the major showcase events last summer, a rare feat for a high school player from Alaska. He threw an easy 86-88 mph and was advanced with the command and quality of his secondary pitches. Scouts looked for continued improvement this spring, but Terpsma was an academic casualty.
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