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No locals selected

First day of MLB Draft comes and goes, while past picks excel in minors

Posted: June 9, 2009 9:38 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
The 2009 Major League Baseball Draft began Tuesday, and although no local products were taken on the first day, the Santa Clarita Valley has had its fair share of talent drafted over the past couple years. This valley has seen plenty of local products crack the lineups and rotations of teams all over the minor leagues. Here is a look at the progress some are making in their efforts to reach the majors:

Michael Montgomery – The former Hart High pitcher was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 36th overall pick in the first round of the 2008 draft. Montgomery is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA so far this season for the Burlington Bees of the Class A Midwest League. Opposing hitters are batting .260 against Montgomery over five starts, and he has allowed six earned runs on 20 hits to go along with 18 strikeouts. The Bees are currently 25-31 and 9 1/2 games out of first place in the Western Division.

Michael Hebert – Hebert, a pitcher who was selected in the seventh round of the 2008 draft by the New York Mets, is awaiting the start of the 2009 Rookie Gulf Coast League season. Last year, the right-handed Saugus graduate went 2-2 for the GCL Mets and gave up 15 runs on 11 hits with 19 strikeouts and a 4.71 ERA.

Shawn Smith – The former Saugus pitcher was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth round of last year’s draft, and Smith is currently awaiting the start of the Rookie Appalachian League. In his first season of professional ball last summer, the left-hander went 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in 14 innings pitched. He gave up 11 earned runs on 20 hits.

Tommy Milone – Drafted in the 10th round in 2008 by the Washington Nationals, the former Saugus and USC pitcher is 3-2 this season with the Potomac Nationals of the Class A Advanced Carolina League. The left-hander has nine starts, and he has allowed 23 earned runs and fanned 31 batters in 54 2/3 innings.

Travis Babin – Babin was selected in the 16th round of the 2008 draft by the New York Mets, and the right-handed pitcher finished 0-1 with a 5.74 ERA over 26 2/3 innings in his first pro season with the Kingsport Mets. He allowed 17 runs on 34 hits with 27 strikeouts, and the former Saugus and Sonoma State player is currently awaiting the start of the 2009 Rookie Appalachian League season.

Steve Susdorf – The former Hart High and Fresno State outfielder was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 19th round of the 2008 draft, and he is hitting .323 with one home run and seven RBIs this season as a designated hitter for the Lakewood BlueClaws of the Class A South Atlantic League. The BlueClaws are atop the Northern Division at 33-23.

Danny Worth – After being picked in the third round by the Detroit Tigers in the 2007 draft, the Valencia High and Pepperdine University product is batting .201 with 29 hits, 11 walks and nine runs as the second baseman for the Toledo Mud Hens of the Triple-A International League. Toledo is currently last in the West Division with a 25-34 record.

John Curtis – Curtis was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 14th round of the 2007 draft, and this season he is hitting .282 with 33 hits, 11 RBIs and 19 walks as the catcher for the Kannapolis Intimidators of the Class A South Atlantic League, who are third in the Northern Division at 30-28.

Chris Valaika – The former Hart High and UC Santa Barbara shortstop was drafted in the third round in 2006 by the Cincinnati Reds, and he is currently on the seven-day disabled list with the Louisville Bats of the Triple-A International League. Valaika is hitting .161 this season in 23 games with three homers and seven RBIs, and the Bats are atop the West Division with a 30-28 record. Last season, Valaika was named the Reds organization’s Minor League Player of the Year.

Casey Mulligan – After being taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2006 draft, the right-handed pitcher was called up to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A Florida State League earlier this season. The Valencia High School product is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA over seven appearances for Palm Beach, allowing three earned runs to go along with 10 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.

jgulino@the-signal.com

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