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Wait begins for locals in MLB Draft

Baseball: Handful of players with local ties hope to hear their name sooner than later in First Year Player Draft.

June 04, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

GLENDALE — After working hard to prove themselves in summer collegiate leagues and with their respective college programs during the past 12 months, a group of homegrown baseball players will now wait to hear their name called in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Crescenta Valley High grad Dustin Emmons, Glendale alumnus Jesse Meaux and Glendale Community College players Ryan Sherriff and Sako Chapjian will officially engage in the waiting game beginning at 4 p.m. PDT Monday, though none are projected to be first-round picks.

Rather on Tuesday, when the second through 30th rounds will unfold, if not Wednesday, when the remaining 31-50 will be played out, are more likely scenarios for the quartet to be selected.

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Sherriff, the left-handed ace of the Vaqueros squad that advanced to the California Community College Athletic Assn. State Championships, was previously drafted as high as the 33rd round by the Washington Nationals in 2010. Glendale College Coach Chris Cicuto and Tony Riviera, Sherriff's coach on the California Collegiate League Glendale Angelenos, expect him to be snatched up promptly this year.

"I think Sherriff has a huge chance of getting an opportunity to be drafted in the first 20 rounds," Cicuto said. "I would even venture to say he could go a little earlier than 20th.

"I've known him for six months now and every month he's progressed. He's gone from a very good left-handed thrower to a guy who knows how to pitch."

Sherriff, who went 5-4 with a 2.45 earned-run average during the regular season with the Vaqueros this year, has a fastball that can hit the low 90s, accompanied by a changeup and breaking ball that Cicuto said he can throw for strikes, although he didn't have much occasion to do this year.

"We never really used it a lot because we didn't have to," Cicuto said. "When you're a left-hander throwing 91 and you're getting guys out, why change? Did that hurt his opportunity to show scouts? Maybe, but at the same time, a guy with a dominating fastball in and out, that's how you set up your breaking ball. He's going to be just fine."

Emmons and Meaux, senior pitchers who have just finished up playing careers at UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara, respectively, have also been drafted before.

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