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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, June 8, 2000

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

Kaanoi signs
with Royals

The right-handed pitcher
will leave Monday for rookie
league in Florida

By Al Chase


Kahi Kaanoi became the first member of the 2000 draft class with local ties to sign a pro contract, doing so with the Kansas City Royals last night.

"Everything is all done. No worrying anymore. Now I've just got to go out and try my hardest," said Kaanoi, who doesn't celebrate his 18th birthday until August.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound right-hander with the 95-mph fastball, was selected in the 7th round Monday, the 194th pick.

Kaanoi was the No. 1 starter for Kamehameha, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion.

"Kahi leaves Monday and will report to the Royals in the Gulf Coast League," Kansas City part-time scout Eric Tokunaga said. "I've known Kahi since he was a freshman. I knew he was special, had a great arm and always had the right attitude about professional baseball."

The GCL is a rookie circuit in Florida that uses major league spring training facilities.

"The negotiations really didn't take too long," Kaanoi said.

"Everything went smoothly. They gave me money for the round in which I was drafted. I'm happy with what I got.

"I'm only 17, what should I be expecting?"

The signing package includes a bonus, incentives that kick in as Kaanoi advances up the minor league ladder, and money for a college education should he decide to pursue that later.

"Tomorrow I go shopping for everything I need, pack and I'm good to go," Kaanoi said.

Said Tokunaga: "I felt we got one of the top players in the state. He's a total package.

"He comes from a great family," he added. "He's very stable emotionally."

The Royals, meanwhile, also asked University of Hawaii pitcher/first baseman Jamie Aloy if he was interested in signing a free agent contract.

Aloy decided yesterday to concentrate on obtaining his degree.

"I just tried to weigh both options and going back to school sounded like a wise decision," Aloy said.

The English major needs one more year to complete his degree requirements.

Rich Snider, also a member of the Rainbows' starting rotation, has not received any calls from teams interested in signing him to a free agent contract.

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