Buck chooses Hawaii
over professional baseball

Matthew Buck, a Hawaii Rainbow recruit drafted June 4 by Montreal in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, has turned down the Expos' offer and says he will be on campus this fall.

In weighing his options, Buck said, "I thought that education was really important to me. If I had been selected in the first or second round, I would have thought about things differently. I want to come to Hawaii and get bigger and stronger over the next three years and see if I can improve my status (in the draft)."

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound left-hander is playing for the Arizona Baseball Academy this summer.

"We're ranked No. 1 in the state and will be traveling all over. Next week we go to Las Vegas and we have trips to Alaska and Seattle later in the summer," said Buck.

Two other players who want to sign and start their pro careers are still negotiating.

Kainoa Obrey, a third baseman from Brigham Young who prepped at Iolani, was picked in the 13th round by St. Louis. So far, discussions by telephone between Obrey and the Cardinals have not produced an agreement on a contract.

Tim Montgomery, the junior center fielder for the Rainbows chosen in the 23rd round by Cleveland, is mulling over his options because the Indians have a slightly different plan in mind for the Washington state resident.

The Indians want Montgomery to play summer ball in one of the collegiate leagues, then sign him to a 2004 contract and have him begin his pro career this fall in instructional league. One problem, and it isn't the only one since the two parties haven't agreed on this plan, is summer team rosters are full.

"If he hits, he will be a major league baseball player. That's what were banking on," said Darren Chun, Cleveland's Hawaii scout. "Tim has four of the five tools. He hits for power, fields, throws and runs well. He needs to hit for average."


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