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MLB: It’s decision time

One local signs on deadline day, while another passes on a big league contract

Posted: July 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Saugus High graduate and Pepperdine product Zach Vincej signed with the Cincinatti Reds on Thursday after being drafted in the 37th round of the First-Year Players Draft.

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The deadline for draftees to sign with Major League Baseball teams came and went on Friday, and the Santa Clarita Valley’s two unsigned players coming into the day made their decisions.

Saugus High graduate Zach Vincej signed with the Cincinnati Reds on deadline day and Valencia High graduate Trey Williams opted not to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I was pretty close to signing, but some things we wanted weren’t met,” Williams said. “I wanted to sign really bad.

I’ve wanted to play professional baseball since I was little. But I know education will be a good thing because it will help me in the future.”


Williams entered the 2012 high school baseball season projected as a first-round pick.
The Foothill League’s all-time home run leader slipped to the 11th round of the First-Year Player Draft to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The third baseman is committed to Pepperdine University, but has other options.

If he chooses, he could enroll at a junior college and be eligible for the 2013 draft.

If he goes to Pepperdine and stays beyond one year, he would have to be there for three years before being eligible for the draft.

He could also play there for a year, then transfer to a JC and play for a year, then be eligible for the 2014 draft.

Vincej could have been Williams’ teammate at Pepperdine if he decided to stay for his senior season.

But the 2009 Saugus grad decided to take the offer that the Reds gave him on Friday.

He was drafted in the 37th round of the draft after batting .339 and committing just four errors in 59 games at shortstop.

On June 30, Vincej was named the Brooks Wallace Award winner, a prize which goes to the nation’s top collegiate shortstop.

Michael “Chipper” Smith, a Golden Valley High graduate and former College of the Canyons pitcher signed with the Miami Marlins on June 29.

He was selected in the 38th round.

Seven of the eight players with local ties who were drafted this year signed — COC’s Cory Jones (St. Louis Cardinals), Hart’s Trevor Brown (San Francisco Giants) and Casey McCarthy (Miami Marlins), West Ranch/COC/The Master’s College’s Charlie Gillies (Detroit Tigers), former Valencia infielder Timmy Lopes (Seattle Mariners), Smith and Vincej.



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