Sardinha's bonus: $1,000,000
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Bronson "Bully" Sardinha, Hawai'i's highest draft pick out of high school, has agreed to a signing bonus worth $1 million with the New York Yankees.
Bronson Sardinha was chosen 34th overall by the Yankees
Sardinha, 18, of Kahuku, was the 34th overall selection in the draft, which saw 1,485 players picked.
"I'm happy with it," Sardinha said last night. "I'm ready to go and show them what I can do
"The earlier I get going (on my career), the faster I'll be able to make the majors leagues."
He said terms were negotiated ahead of time the night before the draft. He said the bonus also includes money for college if he decides to continue his education upon retirement. Scholarships for college are almost standard for signees out of high school.
By signing, Sardinha will be turning down a baseball scholarship to Pepperdine.
A shortstop throughout high school, he will be moved to third base.
He said he will leave here Sunday for mini camp at the Yankees training facility in Tampa, Fla.
Unlike his brother Dane, now a catcher for Mudville (Stockton, Calif.), Bronson was not represented by an adviser. Dane, a second-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds last year, was represented by agent Scott Boras. After a summer-long negotiation, Dane signed a six-year major league contract guaranteed at $1.9 million in lieu of a signing bonus.
Last year, Punahou graduate Justin Wayne, signed with the Montreal Expos for $2.95 million as the fifth overall player selected out of Stanford University. He is the highest draft pick with ties to Hawai'i.
Bronson's negotiations are the quickest among Hawai'i's recent highest draft picks. Waipahu High's Jerome Williams, the 39th overall pick by the San Francisco Giants in 1999, and Wayne both came to terms around mid-summer. Dane signed late last summer and was only able to play in the fall instructional league.
Williams signed for $832,500.
Meanwhile, right-handed pitcher Brandon League, a second-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, is waiting to hear from his adviser, Danny Horwits of the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
League, 18, a recent St. Louis School graduate, celebrated his draft selection Wednesday with a barbeque at home. "My friends came over to hang out," he said.
League said his adviser will "wait around to see what other (draft picks) get."
"I hope everything goes smoothly so I can go out and play," said League, who also has a Pepperdine scholarship.
Island tie: Stanford pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, a third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates, has ties to the Islands. His grandmother and relatives live here and his mother, who resides in Oregon, is from here.
A relative here said that when Guthrie was on spring break from high school in Oregon, he used to visit his grandmother and workout with Kailua and Kalaheo high baseball teams.
Guthrie is scheduled to pitch today's College World Series opener against Tulane.
Next year: Prospects Plus scouting service lists Moloka'i right-handed pitchers Keahi Rawlins and Ikaika Lester as top prospects for Hawai'i next year.