Saturday, June 16, 2001
[ PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL ]
Twins signKaulana Kuhaulua has become the seventh player from Hawaii selected in the Major League Baseball 2001 first-year player draft to sign a professional contract.
The Waianae High product
follows his father's footsteps
into the major leagues
By Al Chase
The Waianae High School graduate and son of former major league pitcher Fred Kuhaulua signed with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
"I got a pretty good deal -- a reasonable amount of money for the round -- and money for schooling," Kuhaulua said. "Negotiations have been going on all week and I think it's a fair amount for both sides."
The Twins made Kuhaulua the first selection in the 12th round (347th overall), following his junior season at Long Beach State.
He played his first two collegiate seasons for Los Angeles City College, where he earned All-American honors. He was drafted in the 39th round by Detroit in 1999 and in the 17th round by St. Louis in 2000, but returned to school each time.
Despite moving from shortstop to second base for Long Beach State and not putting up the same offensive numbers against Division I pitching, Kuhaulua improved five rounds in this year's draft.
The Twins have assigned him to Elizabethton, Tenn., in the short-season rookie Appalachian League. He will arrive Monday and the season opener is Tuesday. Kuhaulua will move back to shortstop with the Twins.
"This is where I feel most at home, feel comfortable,'' said the 6-foot, 170-pounder. "It was a good learning experience at second base. It only made me a better player.
"I've been working out every day. I don't want to go up there out of shape. I want to be a step ahead of every one else."
The comments on Major League Baseball's Web site were: "Plenty of arm and enough range for either side of the bag. Has quick feet and gets a good jump. Aggressive approach at the plate. Knows the strike zone. Plays hard."