Decision time for Vinnie


POSTED: Thursday, June 11, 2009

Waiting to see where he was drafted was the easy part for Vinnie Catricala.

Now comes the tough decision.

Catricala, who just completed his junior season at Hawaii, was selected in the 10th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft yesterday by the Seattle Mariners.

Selected 293rd overall, Catricala is the first Rainbow to be drafted that high since Steven Wright was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

“;It happened pretty fast,”; Catricala said. “;I saw my name (on Major League Baseball's Internet draft tracker) and (Seattle) called me right after for 2 minutes and then my phone just started blowing up.”;

Now that he's been picked, Catricala will take the plunge into the business side of sports, as he weighs his options between signing with the Mariners or returning to the Rainbows for his senior season.

“;Never really had to deal with that, so it'll be interesting,”; said Catricala, who was told the team could start negotiations on a contract as early as today.

Catricala was the first of six players with local ties picked between the fourth and 30th rounds yesterday. The three-day draft concludes today with rounds 31 through 50.

Catricala, who said he had been told to expect the 10th round prior to the draft by scouts, wasn't surprised with where he was selected. The team that picked him, however, caught him off guard.

“;I didn't really talk to (the Mariners) much, so that was kind of a shock,”; Catricala said. “;Scouts were telling me 10th round, so once the eighth and ninth rounds passed, I was thinking it's got to happen now, and then right away, second pick of the round, I saw my name.”;

Catricala was drafted as a third baseman, but could make the move to first base depending on what the Mariners want.

“;I'd do whatever they wanted me to do,”; he said.

Another Rainbow faced with a similar decision is left-hander Sam Spangler, who was taken in the 20th round (No. 595 overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Spangler, a redshirt sophomore this season with the 'Bows, went 5-3 with a 4.17 ERA and four saves.

With few lefties this season, the Rainbows signed pitcher Kirk Wetmore from Bellevue (Wash.) C.C. for the upcoming year, and he was taken in the 11th round (No. 335 overall) by the Cleveland Indians, putting his future at UH in doubt.

Two Pearl City players who just graduated were selected yesterday, including third base prospect Bryson Namba, who was picked in the 12th round (No. 370 overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Teammate Carlton Tanabe, a Star Bulletin All-State second-team selection this season as a catcher, was drafted in the 24th round (No. 713 overall) by the Mariners.

Tanabe got the news from his mom, who was watching the draft tracker. When Tanabe's name came up on the screen, he heard her scream and knew immediately he got picked.

“;I didn't want to watch and wait, so I waited for my mom to tell me,”; said Tanabe, who got a call from the team a minute later. “;I was getting a little worried because it was getting close to the end (for today).”;

Tanabe will decide between signing with Seattle or going to Yavapai (Ariz.) College next season.

“;I want to sign, but hopefully they give me what I want,”; Tanabe said. “;I really just want to play baseball.”;

Saint Louis graduate Cameron Bayne, who played for Concordia (Calif.) this season, was selected in the 13th round (No. 403 overall) by the Chicago White Sox.

The draft ends today with the final 20 rounds set to begin at 5:30 a.m. Some players with local ties that could be drafted today are former and current Rainbows Jayson Kramer, Landon Hernandez and Kevin Macdonald, as well as Gatorade state player of the year Breland Almadova of 'Iolani and Star Bulletin All-State first-team pick Pi'ikea Kitamura of Kamehameha.




The chosen ones

        Players with Hawaii ties selected in yesterday's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft:

Vinnie CatricalaIFMariners10293UH
Kirk WetmoreLHPIndians11335UH signee
Bryson NambaIFBlue Jays12370Pearl City High
Cameron BayneRHPWhite Sox13403Saint Louis School
Sam SpanglerLHPPirates20595UH
Carlton TanabeCMariners24713Pearl City High