Baseball signings continue
Randy Castillo is taking a more direct route to professional baseball than Kaimi Mead and Derrick Saito.
But all three Hawaii pitchers are looking forward to starting their careers over the next week.
Castillo, who graduated from Aiea hours after being selected by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last Friday, said he'll sign his contract on Saturday and expects to report to the rookie league team in Peoria, Ariz., early next week.
The right-hander was picked in the 31st round after posting 46 strikeouts in 312/3 innings for Na Alii.
"(The Mariners scout) is going to fly down with the contract, it's already been settled," said Castillo. "I'm just trying to enjoy things right now. I'm really excited."
Mead's journey took him to three colleges over five years, finishing at Hawaii Pacific University, and will continue to Ohio after he agreed to terms with the Cleveland Indians. He leaves on Saturday to report to the Class-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League.
His selection in the 18th round made him the first HPU player to be drafted since Bryce Uegawachi in 2001 and the first Roosevelt graduate to be picked since Matt Apana - Mead's pitching coach at HPU - in 1993.
"I told him if there's anything he needed to know, I've been through all that at every level through Triple A," said Apana, who pitched professionally for seven years. "I can't tell him how the big leagues are, so that's up to him to let me know how that goes if he can get there."
Saito's signing was announced by the Kansas City Royals yesterday, but the 16th-round pick from Maui won't focus on pitching with the Idaho Falls Chukars in the Pioneer League until finishing final exams at Cal Poly tomorrow.
The Baldwin graduate enrolled at Cal Poly aiming for a civil engineering degree, but signed for a $100,000 bonus over the weekend three years after walking on with the Mustangs.
"Looking back on it now it's almost luck how everything worked out so perfectly," said Saito, a 5-foot-9 lefty. "I wasn't even planning on playing baseball."