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Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, June 3, 2000

M A J O R _ L E A G U E _ B A S E B A L L

Major players
from isles

College stars Dane Sardinha
and Justin Wayne among the top
100 baseball draft prospects


By Al Chase


The spotlight will be on Dane Sardinha and Justin Wayne when the annual major league amateur free agent draft starts Monday.

The college juniors are expected to be first-round picks.

They were the top Hawaii high school selections in the 1997 draft out of Kamehameha and Punahou, respectively.

Sardinha, a catcher, was taken in the second round by Kansas City. Wayne, a right-handed pitcher, was picked in the ninth round by Boston.

Both turned down considerable bonuses to attend college and have enjoyed success at that level, Sardinha at Pepperdine and Wayne at Stanford.

Baseball America lists Sardinha as the sixth best position player and 10th best player overall. He is the second catcher listed behind Scott Heard of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego.

Sardinha was named co-player of the year in the West Coast Conference. He is No. 1 on the Waves career home run list with 45.

Stanford calls on Wayne

Justin Wayne, Stanford's All-American pitcher from Punahou School, was called upon today to extend the Cardinal's baseball season in a Super Regional rematch with Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers beat the Cardinal, 7-3, in last night's opener of the best-of-3 series at Stanford, Calif. A Nebraska victory today would send the Cornhuskers to the College World Series. A Stanford win would force a showdown tomorrow for the CWS berth.

In another of the eight Super Regional openers, home runs by Anthony Lunetta and Josh Persell helped USC topple top-ranked Georgia Tech, 7-2, at Atlanta.

Wayne is listed as the 10th best pitcher and overall the 20th best player. He was named co-pitcher of the year in the Pacific-10 Conference.

They are the only two players with Hawaii ties listed among Baseball America's Top 100.

The draft is limited to 50 rounds and should be completed Tuesday.

The Florida Marlins have the first pick. The Atlanta Braves have five of the first 51 selections.

Two other Hawaii players, shortstop Keoni DeRenne (Iolani and Arizona) and right-handed pitcher Kahi Kaanoi (Kamehameha), have a chance of being selected in the first 10 rounds.

Three University of Hawaii seniors, left-handed pitcher/first baseman Jamie Aloy, left-hander Randon Ho and right-hander Rich Snider, hope to be picked.

Aloy was taken by San Francisco in the 48th round last year.

Ho has been selected twice, by Cleveland in 1998 in the 35th round and last year by Philadelphia in the 29th round.

UH junior right-hander Gavin Garrick also is a possibility.

"Some scouts have said I might go between the 20th and 30th rounds, but there is no money there," Garrick said. "If there is no money, I'm coming back here next year."

Brandon Chaves, the University of Hawaii at Hilo slick-fielding shortstop, has caught the eye of a number of scouts.

Scott Suraci, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound outfielder with excellent speed, is the top prospect from Hawaii Pacific University. He hit .427 with 21 doubles and four home runs this season.

Bruddah Choy Foo, Kailua High School shortstop, and Apana Nakayama, the catcher for state champion Molokai, are considered prospects.

Rex Rundgren, who was drafted in the 24th round by Boston out of Mid-Pacific Institute last year, didn't sign. Instead, he played for the College of Marin, a California junior college, this spring.

The Red Sox had until last Sunday to sign Rundgren, but didn't despite making what his mother, Michele, called "a good offer."

"Several teams have shown interest in Rex and we decided to take our chances in this year's draft," Michele Rundgren said.

Miles Luuloa (Molokai), a shortstop drafted by Detroit in the 37th round last year, signed with the Tigers last week after completing his second year at Laney College.

"First and foremost, Miles is a baseball player. He can play the middle infield, has outstanding hands and enough arm to play any infield position," said Jeff Malinoff, Detroit's west regional supervisor.

"He's a switch hitter with power, has great wrists and that's what makes a hitter.

"He's excited and I think he is ready for the next level."

Luuloa, the brother of Keith Luuloa of the Anaheim Angels, will be assigned to Oneonta (N.Y.) in the short-season Class A New York-Penn League.

Kaulana Kuhaulua (Waianae), also a shortstop, completed his second year at Los Angeles City College and is eligible to be drafted again. Detroit picked him in the 39th round a year ago.

Kuhaulua, who hit .430 this past season, is being recruited by Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount and Arizona State.

He said interest from pro scouts is up this year with some suggesting he would be picked in the first 10 rounds.

Ian Perio (Castle), a left-hander who was 7-6 with a 4.63 earned run average for the University of San Francisco this year, would like another call. He's been drafted twice by the Oakland Athletics.

Tim Montgomery, an outfielder from Redmond, Wash., who signed with UH last fall, enjoyed a tremendous senior season. Rainbow head coach Les Murakami is keeping his fingers crossed about how high Montgomery might be picked.

Thirteen players with Hawaii ties were chosen in the 1999 draft.

That number might be reached this year even though fifth-year seniors Thomas Ford (Hawaii-Hilo) and Kenn Wakakuwa (Hawaii) already signed free agent contracts and Luuloa took Detroit up on its offer.

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