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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 4, 2006

UH pitcher Wright signs with Indians

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i pitcher Steven Wright, as expected, will skip his senior season after he said he signed for a $630,000 bonus yesterday with the Cleveland Indians.

"I met a lot of great people (at UH)," Wright said by phone from Akron, Ohio, where he is working out before being shipped out to Mahoning Valley (Niles, Ohio), the Indians' short-season Single-A team. "It was a fun experience playing for UH, but it's time to move on."

The Indians drafted Wright in the second round, the 56th overall pick, last month. He is the third Rainbow to sign after being drafted. Outfielder Matt Inouye and catcher Esteban Lopez, both done with their UH eligibility, signed with the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively. Only relief pitcher Darrell Fisherbaugh (50th round by Boston), also with a year of eligibility left, remains unsigned.

Wright was named to four all-America teams and was named the Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 11-2 with a 2.30 earned run average in helping UH reach its first regional since 1993. A bout with mononucleosis forced him to miss his start at the Corvallis (Ore.) Regional. He has since recovered and has been working out the past 2 1/2 weeks in Akron, he said.

Wright said he will go to instructional league in the fall and attend a mini-camp for top draft picks during spring training.

Wright was drafted in the 26th round by the San Diego Padres out of a California high school in 2002, but chose to attend UH.

"It was tempting (to sign) at the time," he recalled. "It would've been a stupid move."

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.