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Pro baseball: Another 3 draftees

Hart’s McCarthy, Saugus’ Vincej and Golden Valley/COC’s Smith taken by MLB teams

Posted: June 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Cal State San Bernardino senior and Hart High graduate Casey McCarthy was selected 857th overall in the 38th round by the Miami Marlins in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.

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On the third and final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the Santa Clarita Valley experienced another rarity, which again shows how significant baseball is in the area.

Three players with local ties were selected on Wednesday — Hart High graduate Casey McCarthy (28th round, 857th overall, to the Miami Marlins), Saugus grad Zach Vincej (37th round, 1,132nd overall, Cincinnati Reds) and Golden Valley grad Chipper Smith (38th round, 1,157th overall, Marlins).

That brought the total to eight players with local ties who were selected by Major League teams in the 2012 Draft.

On Tuesday, Charlie Gillies had the unique distinction of being the first baseball player in SCV history to have played for a Foothill League school, College of the Canyons and The Master’s College and be drafted.

McCarthy’s selection means he is the third starting pitcher from the same Hart High 2008 staff to be drafted.

“People will look back and say, ‘You don’t see a pitching staff like that.’ It’s pretty incredible,” said McCarthy, a Cal State San Bernardino senior right-hander. “It shows a lot about Hart High baseball.”

In that 2008 season, Bauer was 12-0 with a 0.79 ERA, Montgomery was 8-2 with a 1.41 ERA and McCarthy was 1-3 with a 3.42 ERA.

Montgomery was a first-round pick by Kansas City in 2008 and Bauer was the third overall selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks last year.

“I think they knew how good they were — Bauer and Montgomery were two confident guys. They knew what was in front of them,” McCarthy said. “For me, I never dreamed this would happen. I never realized the potential. ... Bauer and Montgomery knew what was possible. Being around them I learned a lot. They were two aggressive pitchers. (Now I’m) seeing what you can do if you work hard.”

McCarthy went from Cal Poly Pomona to Riverside Community College to Cal State San Bernardino, where he spent the last two seasons.

He was 5-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 13 starts this season.

Vincej is a junior shortstop at Pepperdine and a former four-year starter at Saugus.

One of the most fundamentally sound and grounded athletes to come out of this area recently, Vincej thrived for the Waves this season.

On Wednesday, he was announced as one of five finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the nation’s top shortstop by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

He batted .339 with two home runs and 29 RBIs and was named the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

“Just the excitement of the whole thing, it doesn’t matter what round I was drafted in, it’s just a great accomplishment,” Vincej said. “It’s something I’ve been working for my whole life. It’s a great feeling.”

Vincej could decide to return to Pepperdine next season or sign by the deadline of July 13.

He could get drafted higher and sign for more money or run the risk of not getting drafted at all in 2013.

“It’s up in the air. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m still in discussions with the team,” Vincej said. “I still have both options. I’ll do what’s first best for me and my family, and I have a month to decide. ... It’s a win-win for me.”

Smith, a senior left-hander, graduated from Golden Valley in 2008 and has since played for College of the Canyons, College of Southern Nevada and NAIA school Cumberland University in Tennessee.

Smith tossed a no-hitter for Cumberland on Feb. 25 and was 6-6 with a 3.65 ERA this season.

On the second day of the draft, five players with local ties were taken — COC’s Cory Jones (fifth round, 180th overall, St. Louis Cardinals), former Valencia High infielder Timmy Lopes (sixth round, 191st overall, Seattle Mariners), Hart graduate Trevor Brown (10th round, 328th overall, San Francisco Giants), Gillies (10th round, 334th overall, Detroit Tigers) and Trey Williams (11th round, 360th overall, Cardinals).

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