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Final day full of surprises

Eight more players with local connections picked in MLB draft

Posted: June 11, 2009 9:21 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Golden Valley outfielder Jordan Yallen throws the ball into the infield against Hart on April 14. Yallen was selected in the 47th round by the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

The Major League Baseball Draft is unpredictable and the point was proven Thursday on its third and final day.

Eight players with local ties were selected, including the first-ever draftee from Golden Valley High.

Hart graduate Shane Carlson (32nd round - Cincinnati Reds), The Master’s College’s Paul Graham Miller (32nd round - Dodgers), former College of the Canyons pitcher Ryan China McCarney (33rd round - Tampa Bay Rays), Saugus graduate and former College of the Canyons infielder Casey Stevenson (38th round - Milwaukee Brewers), former COC infielder Brian Hernandez (39th round, Cleveland Indians), 2009 Hart graduate Cade Kreuter (41st round - Arizona Diamondbacks), COC infielder Phil Bando (45th round - Angels) and 2009 Golden Valley graduate Jordan Yallen (47th round - Chicago White Sox) were all taken Thursday.

Lots of intrigue comes from many of these players, starting with Yallen, who played one year at Golden Valley after transferring from Calabasas High.

Coming from a team that won just nine games in 2009 (a program record), Yallen seemingly was under the radar, but Grizzlies head coach Scott Drootin said a White Sox scout was high on the outfielder all season.

“I talked to a few teams so I had an idea (I would be drafted),” Yallen said. “I’m just honored. Anything I can do for Golden Valley, to help it get going more. I hope this is the start of great things for this school. It’s been tough. It’s been a struggle. It’s going up from here I hope.”

Yallen batted .406 with a home run and 13 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

He is committed to play baseball for Gonzaga in 2010, though. He said he is undecided about signing with the White Sox.

The player picked highest Thursday, Carlson, saw his numbers dip at UC Santa Barbara in 2009.

Combining that fact with him being a senior put his draft status in limbo.

Nonetheless, the Cincinnati Reds took the shortstop 959th overall, one day after taking his teammate at Hart and UCSB Matt Valaika in the 20th round.

Miller, a left-handed pitcher, was taken by the Dodgers 967th overall despite, having a down year for The Master’s College.

The senior was 4-2 with a 6.63 ERA in 55 2/3 innings in 2009.

“Graham has an upside to him,” said TMC head baseball coach Monte Brooks. “He can hit 90 with his fastball. He has really good movement. He has a really good changeup. A pretty good split. There’s an upside to him. He struggled throwing strikes here a little bit, but he’s a left-hander. He’s a big kid. Getting in pro ball, they have more of a daily routine. Maybe he can be more consistent, more effective.”

Miller is the first TMC player drafted since Jerry Owens was taken by the Montreal Expos in the second round of the 2003 draft.
McCarney, 1,009th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, and Hernandez, 1,175th overall by the Cleveland Indians, are both former College of the Canyons players and still have one year of college eligibility left.

McCarney is at CSUN and Hernandez is at UC Irvine.

Stevenson, a 2006 Saugus graduate who also played at COC in 2007, has seen a steady rise over the last couple of years, garnering high praise from COC head coach Chris Cota and UC Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie.

The UC Irvine infielder said that his demands may have dropped his draft position to 1,156th overall, but he does have the bargaining position of having a year of eligibility left.

“There are pluses and minuses,” Stevenson said about signing.

Kreuter’s selection comes as a surprise, as he played two years of varsity baseball, at West Ranch then Valencia, then played JV ball because of transferring to Hart as a junior.

As a senior, Kreuter was on the Hart varsity team, but separated his shoulder in the first game of the year and missed the rest of the season.

He is committed to play baseball for USC, which is coached by his father and former Major League catcher Chad Kreuter.

Bando played in only 15 games for COC in 2009, going 12-for-35 with seven RBIs.

He is the son of former Major League catcher Chris Bando and the nephew of Sal Bando.

Twelve players with local ties were taken in this draft.

Valencia graduates Virgil Hill (sixth round — St. Louis Cardinals) and Jared Clark (12th round — Colorado Rockies), Valaika (20th round — Cincinnati Reds) and Saugus graduate Kyle Hooper (28th round — Pittsburgh Pirates) were selected on Wednesday.


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