Rainbows' Lopez to play rookie league for Dodgers
Esteban Lopez leaves today for Vero Beach, Fla., to start his professional career in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
"I signed yesterday and I'm excited to go out there and play," said the former Hawaii Rainbows catcher who was selected in the 25th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last week.
"I want to show the Dodgers what I've got. They gave me a signing bonus and there are some incentives," Lopez said.
He will stay in Vero Beach and play for the Dodgers in the Gulf Coast League, a short-season rookie league.
Steven Wright, the second-round pick by Cleveland, said he and the Indians are not in any rush to come to terms.
"Even if I signed today, it will be at least another two weeks before I could play," said Wright, who is recovering from mononucleosis.
Wright, a junior right-hander who was 11-2 for the Rainbows this spring, is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council, an organization that handles negotiations and business arrangements for many of the pro baseball players with Hawaii connections.
One of the BHSC agents working with Wright is Iolani graduate Mike Fetters, who retired last year after a successful major league career.
Kansas City selections Anthony Stovall, a right-hander from Kailua picked in the 35th round, and Colby Ho, a third baseman from Kaiser chosen in the 48th round, are not expected to sign now.
"Tony is a summer draft-and-follow," said Royals scout Eric Tokunaga. "He will play American Legion ball for Kalani."
That approach is fine with Stovall, who pitched just one inning for the Surfriders this year.
"Colby and Cameron Bayne (Saint Louis right-hander picked in the 49th round by Cincinnati) also are on the same Legion team. Colby is probably going to junior college and will be a draft-and-follow pick," Tokunaga said.
Second baseman Isaac Castillo, selected in the 44th round by the Minnesota Twins out of Waimea High School, is still rehabbing a torn ACL in his right knee. The injury did not require surgery and he should be ready for summer ball in two or three weeks.
"School is my first option, but I have thought about signing," said Castillo, who plans to attend Cuesta College this fall.