Since the format of the Major League Baseball Draft changed in 1987, Hawaii teammates have never been drafted in the first five rounds.
Expect that statistic to change.
Both second baseman Kolten Wong and right-hander Lenny Linsky could fall off the board as early as today as the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft gets under way in Secaucus, N.J.
MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT
Where: Secaucus, N.J.
The first 60 picks (first round and supplemental round) will take place on the MLB Network (Oceanic Dig. 208/1208) beginning at 1 p.m.
Rounds 2-30 are Tuesday and the final 20 rounds are on Wednesday. Both start at 6 a.m. and can be followed online at mlb.com.
Wong is expected to become the first Rainbow selected in the first round as a position player. Pitchers Derek Tatsuno (1982, winter phase, No. 25 overall), Mike Campbell (1985, summer phase, No. 7 overall) and Mark Johnson (1996, No. 19 overall) are the only Rainbows taken in the first round.
Likely destinations for the 5-foot-9, three-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection include Colorado at 20, Toronto at 21, Tampa Bay at 24 and Cincinnati at 27.
A QUICK LOOK AT POTENTIAL DRAFTEES WITH HAWAII TIES:
*2012 UH signee; **2012 UH verbal commit
The Minnesota Twins, who drafted Wong in the 16th round out of high school before the Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate decided to attend UH, pick at No. 30.
In Baseball America’s final draft-eligible rankings for 2011, Wong was No. 27 overall and Linsky, UH’s single-season record holder in saves, was the third closer off the board at No. 81.
"I’ve got some family and friends coming over (today) and we’ll just be hanging out at the house," said Linsky, who is back home in Palos Verdes, Calif. "I’ve heard first three rounds but could be (today), could be Tuesday, could be (Wednesday), you never really know."
Former Punahou star Justin Wayne is the highest player with local ties to be drafted. He was selected with the fifth overall pick and signed with the Montreal Expos in 2000.
‘Iolani left-hander Carlos Rodriguez is projected as the first high-school player taken from Hawaii this year. Selected to the all-state third team yesterday, the 6-foot-3 Oregon State commit struck out 56 and allowed only 25 hits in 39 2/3 innings.
Buffanblu outfielder Michael Suiter, who hit .447 while dealing with a sprained knee, is another likely draftee.
Pitcher of the year Kalei Contrades from Saint Louis and Pearl City’s Chevas Numata, the position player of the year, are in the mix along with Campbell catcher Po‘okela Ka‘alekahi and Moanalua pitcher Jordan DePonte, a UH signee.
Contrades, who has signed with San Jose State, went 5-2-1 with a 2.22 ERA, striking out 48 in 41 innings.
"He’s very athletic, can run, can field, can throw the ball, hit for average, and he has some power," said Saint Louis’ George Gusman, who coached at least six kids that will move on to the next level, including outfielder Kaeo Aliviado, another UH signee.
Of the 13 guys committed to play at Hawaii next year, Rainbows coach Mike Trapasso could lose as many as five depending upon how things shake out.
Last season, UH lost four signees and four juniors to the draft. Pitchers Matt Sisto, Connor Little and Michael Blake are three guys from this year’s team who may not return for their senior seasons.
"Every year you have to be prepared for what might happen," Trapasso said last week. "Look at last year."
Infielder Brett Harrison of Green Valley H.S. in Henderson Nev., brother of UH sophomore Matt, and 6-foot-6 left-hander Scott Squier head the list of UH signees who could leave.
Harrison is a likely infield starter and Squier would factor into the starting rotation immediately.
Sisto saved his best performance of the season for Arizona, throwing just 81 pitches in seven innings of a victory over San Jose State in the WAC tournament two weeks ago.
His decision could go either way depending upon where he’s taken.
Blake, who can hit 93 mph from the left side, and Little, despite a rough season, are both likely to sign if drafted.
Senior left-hander Blair Walters, who led the team with seven wins and has movement on a fastball that reaches 93 mph, is expected to get picked somewhere between rounds 10 and 20. Alex Capaul, who impressed at a pro day last fall, is also a potential draft pick despite his struggles throughout the year.