Five players with Hawaii ties taken in 2021 MLB Draft
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s every baseball player’s dream — getting their named called in the MLB Draft and for five players with ties to the islands, the past two days were a dream come true.
“Its been a while since I faced competition, so excited to get out there and get on the mound and compete.”
Saint Louis and Hawaii-Hilo Alumni Dylan Spain was the first Hawaii born player drafted, getting picked up by the Atlanta Braves in the tenth round.
The culmination of a long journey for Spain, who opted out of last year’s Covid-shortened season to prepare for the next level.
“For it to finally be here you know it’s just another journey in my life that I can continue to work at and have fun doing,” Spain told Hawaii News Now sports reporter Kyle Chinen. “Getting my health in order was the biggest thing and after that I could build myself up and kind of put myself in a place where I belong with those guys.”
On the third and final day of the Draft, three more local players got the call, including Aiea’s Kobe Kato, who was the starting second baseman for the Arizona wildcats — helping U of A advance to the College Baseball World Series.
“I can kind of say that I did it all in college,” Kato said. “I played in the postseason, went to Omaha and now getting drafted, you know its something every baseball player wants to check off their check list and finally I’m one step closer to you know making it a full time career.”
Mid Pacific alum Wyatt Young and Kamehameha product Hunter Breault were also drafted in the late rounds.
The five now join a fraternity of local players in the professional ranks, honored to be representing their home state.
“Just being able to get that support from everyone here whether they’re older or younger, it really helps a lot and it makes it more meaningful,” Kato said.
“Putting Hawaii on the map is one of the biggest thing that everyone talks about,” Spain said. “Representing Hawaii, everyone is behind you and I think that’s the best feeling about it.”
Rounding out the list was University of Hawaii ace Aaron Davenport, who was drafted in the sixth round by Cleveland — Davenport is a Washington state native.
With the Draft wrapped up, the 2021 MLB regular season resumes after the All-Star Break.
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