Two University of Hawaii baseball players — catcher Kekai Rios and relief pitcher Dylan Thomas — were selected today in the Major League Baseball Draft.
The Milwaukee Brewers picked Rios in the 28th round of the 40-round draft.
The Minnesota Twins selected Thomas in the 38th round.
“All I wanted was an opportunity,” said Rios, who turned 21 today, “and I got an opportunity.”
Rios hit .318 in 24 Big West games this past season as a catcher, third baseman and designated hitter. He also handled a pitching staff that used eight different starters.
The Kansas City Royals had called Rios earlier today but made a conditional offer that was deemed too low. After a breakfast of pancakes and Portuguese sausage, Rios was returning to his family’s Hilo home when he learned he was selected by the Brewers.
Thomas received calls before the start of today’s 10th round. But teams interested in selecting Thomas between the 10th and 15th rounds could not meet his asking price. As a draft-eligible sophomore, Thomas also has leverage next year if he chooses to return to UH for his junior season. He is scheduled to leave Thursday morning to compete in the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer.
Anthony Ho‘opi‘i-Tuionetoa, a pitcher/outfielder from Baldwin High, was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round.
The Seattle Mariners chose Beau Branton, a Stanford infielder and Punahou School graduate, in the 28th round.