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Record year for Hawaii draftees

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When Alan Baldwin’s name was read aloud Wednesday, it ended the most successful Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft for Hawaii.

A record 16 players from local high schools and colleges were taken in the draft, which completed the final 20 rounds with another nine local players selected.

The University of Hawaii, which had never had more than five players go in one year, finished with seven draftees.

Draft-eligible juniors Randy Yard and Connor Little were taken as was senior Alex Capaul, who the Arizona Diamondbacks chose in the 43rd round (No. 1,294).

Yard was the first guy off the board, going to the Cincinnati Reds in Round 36 (No. 1,105).

Little, who said he turned off the draft after with roughly five or six rounds left, got a call from the Florida Marlins, who took the 6-foot-5 right-hander in the 49th round (No. 1,483).

Although drafted later than he expected, Little wasn’t sure if he’d return to UH.

“It’s a lot tougher than getting drafted in the 11th round or something, so I’m going to take some time and sort everything out,” Little said. “I talked to Coach Trap (Mike Trapasso), talked to the Marlins, and who knows, I might be there, or I might continue my goals and start playing professionally.”

Capaul was woken up at 5 a.m. by a call from the Houston Astros, who asked if he was ready to sign.

Eventually, the Diamondbacks snuck in and grabbed the right-hander from Couer D’Alene, Idaho, who signed and was on a plane by 10 last night heading for Arizona to take a physical.

“It’s all happened in like six hours,” said Capaul, who had planned on going to summer school at UH. “(The draft) was so early that I started falling asleep when I heard my name called.”

The biggest surprise of the day was right-hander Matt Sisto going undrafted. Hawaii’s Friday starter did not get picked despite a solid junior year, finishing 5-5 with a 3.67 ERA.

Sisto, who had a very good summer last year with the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod League, will likely play there again this year before returning for his senior season.

Six high school kids were taken on the final day, including Kailua’s Baldwin, one of four UH commits for 2012 selected in the draft. The Tampa Bay Rays made him the 1,500th person chosen in the draft.

St. Louis not only selected Kolten Wong as the highest position player drafted from the state in 28 years, but also picked Campbell catcher Po‘okela Ka‘alekahi in the 46th round (No. 1,400) and Aiea outfielder Brock Asher with the No. 1,460th overall pick two rounds later.

The Reds started the day drafting Yard, who went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his first full season with the Rainbows following shoulder surgery in 2008.

Cincinnati stayed in Hawaii the next round, drafting Punahou outfielder Michael Suiter (No. 1,135), a Santa Clara commit.

Sabers pitcher Robert Kahana was scooped up by the Colorado Rockies in the 44th round (No. 1,338).

Kamehameha first baseman Kewby Meyer went to the Philadelphia Phillies in the 48th round (No. 1,471).

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