Wednesday, June 2, 1999

Williams drafted
by S.F. Giants

San Francisco takes him
with the 39th pick, highest ever
for a local prep player

N.C. outfielder No. 1 draft pick

By Pat Bigold


Waipahu High School pitcher Jerome Williams became the highest drafted high-school baseball player in Hawaii history today when the San Francisco Giants took him with the 39th overall pick in the annual amateur draft.

Williams, 17, a senior right-hander, was one of three players with local ties drafted today. Shane Victorino, an outfielder from Maui's St. Anthony School, was taken in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dusty Bergman a left-handed pitcher at the University of Hawaii, was chosen in the seventh round by the Anaheim Angels.

Williams was drafted in the supplemental round (31st to 51st picks), which came between the first and second rounds.

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Waipahu High pitcher Jerome Williams is congratulated
by his mom, Debra Williams, after being picked 39th
by the San Francisco Giants.

Before today, former Kamehameha catcher Dane Sardinha had been the highest local prep pick. He was drafted 59th, in the second round, in 1997 by the Kansas City Royals but did not sign a contract. Sardinha, now at Pepperdine, will be eligible for the 2000 draft.

As the call from the Giants came to the Williams residence on Leoku Street at 8:40 a.m., Williams nervously lifted the receiver on the second ring. The voice on the other end was Giants' area scout, Darren Wittke, who said, "Congratulations, the Giants have picked you 39th overall."

Williams barely changed his tense expression, quietly thanking Wittke. He then handed the phone to his mother, Deborah.

As soon as he did that, Williams slammed his fist into his hand, his eyes watering with joy. "Aw-right!" he cried.

"I love you, uncle," said his 5-year-old niece, Monica Williams-Kaapanui, sitting on the living room couch.

"She's been to all of his games," said Williams' father, Glenn, sitting at the kitchen table along with Deborah and son Glenn Jr., 25.

Williams has lived in the apartment since he was born at Kapiolani Women's and Children's Hospital on Dec. 4, 1981.

He has never been to the mainland.

"We liked his projectability and his overall future potential," Wittke said. "He's a great athlete with a great arm."

Wittke, who said his organization clocked Williams' fastball at 95 mph, will fly to Hawaii to speak with Williams and his family in a couple of days.

Wittke said Williams will be sent this month to the Giants' spring training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. He then will report to the team's Class A Northwest League affiliate in Salem, Ore.

Williams struck out 116 batters in 65 innings this season.

Victorino, who has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Hawaii, said he didn't know if he'd sign with the Dodgers.

"This is such a new experience for me and my family," he said. "The scouts only started coming around last month."

Victorino's greatest asset is his speed. He won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and anchored the 4x100 relay at the state track meet two weeks ago. He also is one of the best prep soccer players in Hawaii.

Said Bergman, who had a 4-4 record at UH this season, "I'm excited. Now I've just got to see what happens."

Other Hawaii high school players who could be drafted over the next couple days are shortstop Jandin Thornton-Murray of St. Louis School, infielder/outfielder Paki Lum of Kamehameha Schools, shortstop Rex Rundgren of Mid-Pacific Institute and outfielder Chad Santos of St. Louis.

Star-Bulletin reporter Al Chase contributed to this report.

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