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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Major league scouts will view local players here

Advertiser Staff

About 90 Hawai'i high school underclassmen baseball players have been invited to participate in a first-ever camp with the Major League Scouting Bureau, according to Dan Dixon, the organization's area scout.

"It is their day to shine," said Dixon, who scouts the Southern California area and all of Hawai'i and is based in Ontario, Calif.

Dixon said the invitees were recommended from all the high school baseball programs in the state.

The invitation-only tryout will be held 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Rainbow Baseball Stadium.

Position players will be timed in the 60-yard dash and have their arms and fielding mechanics graded.

Pitchers will throw in the bullpen and have their mechanics and velocity evaluated.

Dixon said he will keep approximately 45 players to participate in an intersquad game.

"This is a great opportunity for these kids, and that way we know who we need to come in and scout next season and the following season," Dixon said.

Dixon sent a letter to all Hawai'i high schools with baseball programs.

"We're looking for the best juniors and sophomores who will be eligible for the 2002 and 2003 free agent drafts," Dixon said in the letter.

The bureau hires 44 scouts covering the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada and represents all 30 Major League teams. It will disperse the information from its tryouts.

Earlier this month, a record number 15 players with Hawai'i ties were selected in baseball's amateur draft. Of that, six were high school seniors.

Dixon said invitees will be coming from throughout the state.

He said three bureau staff members will help conduct the tryouts.

Among the high school coaches who will be assisting will be Joe Tom of Castle and Glenn Nitta of Mililani.

Dixon, who has been scouting in Hawai'i for eight years, has had a hand in drafting local talent.

"My best find in the 17 years I've been scouting was finding Jerome Williams," said Dixon.

Williams, a Waipahu High graduate, was drafted 39th overall by the San Francisco Giants in 1999.

At the time, Williams was the highest Hawai'i high school player drafted. Williams was surpassed this month when the New York Yankees drafted Kamehameha School's Bronson Sardinha 34th overall.