The Journal News from White Plains, New York on June 3, 1990 · Page 38
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The Journal News from White Plains, New York · Page 38

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Sunday, June 3, 1990
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D8 THE JOURNAL-NEWS, SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 1990 NATIONALLOCAL McNamara's call was almost a By John Humenn Staff Writer Each year over 1,500 players get phone calls telling them they've been selected in the major league amateur draft. But when Tom Mc-Namara first got the call, it turned out to be a wrong number. That in essence is what happened to McNamara two years ago as he sat with his Dominican College teammates at the New York State College All-Stars dinner at Yankee Stadium. PLA YERSA From said St. Joseph coach Frank Salva-no. "When he's on, he's unhittable. He's had games where he struck out 15 and 16. He's a lefty with control and the scouts love that." The Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves are among the teams showing the most interest in Kearney. However, Kearney will have plenty of leverage; sitting on the table are scholarship offers from the University of Jacksonville, West Virginia, Se-ton Hall and Fair-leigh Dickinson. "I don't know, but I'm almost charlie rambadt definitely going to go to college," said Kearney, 17. "It would have to be lot of money (offered) for me to go to the min-ors. "I like (Kearney)," said Ralph DiLullo, a Paterson, N.J., resident and a scout with the Major League Scouting Bureau since it's inception in 1975. "He's not ready for pro ball yet but I think eventually he'll develop into a pro prospect. He'll mature and that's the name of the game." Connolly, a 1986 graduate of St. Joseph Regional, has been tearing up the Ivy League the past four seasons. This year he was 7-1 with a 2.14 ERA. Prior to Penn's NCAA SEYMOUR 1983 and 1984. "He could hit, hit for power, run and field." Former RCC teammate Chuck Todd said, "Billy was probably the best hitter I ever played with." That's saying a lot since Todd played in the Cleveland Indians organization. Seymour's stats support Todd's statement. In 35 games as a freshman at RCC, Seymour batted .422 with 7 homers, 37 RBI, 42 runs, 34 walks and a .562 on-base percentage. He was selected All-America. In 37 games as a sophomore, Seymour batted .460 with 9 homers, 32 RBI, 57 runs, 43 walks and a mind-boggling .622 on-base percent-age. Pretty impressive, huh? So how come Seymour never got the call? 2, A lot of little things It's tough to put a finger on any one reason; Seymour certainly had Z- all the tools. However, he also had a few things working against him, such as: Height. Seymour, at 5-foot-9, didn't have the size that scouts S crave. Scouts prefer players who . are at least 6-0. v Age. Seymour enrolled at Mo-rehead State in Kentucky after ; graduation from Suffern in 1980. He had to sit out a year before transferring to RCC and graduated at age 22, which is about two years I too old for a junior college player. Injury. In the summer of 1982, Z Seymour injured his left (throwing) shoulder in a Rockland Open League baseball game when he fell Z on it running the bases. He plays Softball now for Deuce Coupe. His shoulder still isn't 100 percent. "There was no big reason why he didn't get drafted, but a lot of little things," Keeley said. "He was maybe an inch too short, a year too ;I old. He was a little squatty, even though he could run. ?. "It's frustrating. Billy deserved a shot at it just to see if he could play professional baseball." Todd, who played with Seymour Z in 1984 and was drafted by the Indians in 1985, can't understand it either. ; "I don't understand it because there were other players on the team (the scouts) were looking at like Bobby Schepis (drafted by the Astros) and he still got overlooked," ..said Todd, a 25-year-old Stony C Point resident who played 2Vz years of minor league ball. "It's one of the biggest mysteries. He de-served it. If anybody deserved it, he did." Ralph DiLullo, presently a scout "r for the Major League Scouting Bu-' reau and formerly a Chicago Cubs scout, offered this opinion: ' "What happens is every club makes a list by position and maybe 1 that year they were very deep at Earlier that week three of Mc-N a m a r a ' s teammates were drafted Kevin Baez and David Parouse by the Mets and Ramces Guerrero by the Braves and TOM MCNAMARA now McNamara patiently waited his turn. At the dinner he thought came. So did everyone else. it page D1 Regional loss to Arizona State, Connolly's ERA was 0.97, second best in the nation at that time. "He's a winner," said Penn head coach Bob Seddon. "He has that meanness on the mound that you need to be a competitor." The 22-year-old right-hander throws an 84 miles-per-hour fastball, a split-finger fastball, a knuckle-curve, changeup and is working on a slider. The San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics have expressed the most interest. Connolly and Rambadt were given a tryout by the Mets at Shea Stadium yesterday. "I definitely want to get drafted," Connolly said. "Ever since Little League I've wanted to play professional ball." For teams looking for a solid catcher with a strong arm and good bat, Rambadt could fit the bill. Besides the Mets, the California Angels and St. Louis Cardinals are interested. "From what I hear I have a pretty good shot," said the 21-year-old Rambadt, who batted .355 with five homers and 16 RBI this season. "I'm just waiting. I've had a lot of people come by. As for which teams may draft me. Your guess is as good as mine. Some teams have shown more interest than others." page D1 that position," said DiLullo, who signed free agents Bruce Sutter, Joe Niekro and Bill Stoneman for the Cubs after they were passed over in the draft. "It's a very hard thing to decipher but there are a lot of good players who don't get drafted." Some interest Seymour did draw some attention, though. Between 1980 and 1984 he had tryouts with the Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Mariners, Blue Jays and the Major League Scouting Bureau, which represents 17 teams. "I just figured I wasn't good enough on the days they were there watching me," said Seymour, who is now self-employed. "In 1983 and 1984 I was looking at the draft. I was right there, waiting and waiting. I figured I would go in the 30th or 40th round. "But you don't get drafted if you play in the northeast. You look at the draft and maybe 50 guys are drafted from the northeast. You have to go down south if you want to get drafted." Seymour believes his shoulder injury was probably the biggest single reason why the pro teams kept their distance. Consequently, his advice to young players is far from conventional. "It's a good possibility, but it was my fault I hurt my arm and I don't hate them for that," Seymour said. "They can't take a chance of drafting someone who may have a bad arm. "If you have a couple of things against you, like speed or height or if you've had an injury, you can forget it. My advice to those guys (looking to get drafted) is: Don't let anyone know if you have a problem anywhere. Don't even let your coach know." Injuries and hard luck have continued to plague Seymour. Three years ago he burned his hand on a muffler. The hand healed but caused a blood infection, which Seymour didn't become aware of immediately. "One day a year and a half later, I couldn't get out of bed," Seymour said. "Two vertebrae were being eaten away by the infection." Seymour underwent successful back surgery in December 1988 but there are still repercussions. "Some days if I work all day and then play two (softball) games at night, I'm shot the next day. I can't walk," Seymour said. During the next three days there will be a number of amateur players who will answer the phone and jump at an offer to turn professional. But for Billy Seymour and countless others, that offer will never come. "The dinner was during the week of the draft and the coaches were calling their offices and kept coming back saying who got drafted," said McNamara, a 24-year-old Pearl River resident who coaches Pearl River High's junior varsity baseball team. "Coach (Rich) Martin said I got drafted but he didn't know which team." As it turned out it was a different McNamara who was drafted. But Tom McNamara had no way of knowing that. At least not yet. Mets scout Smith knows what By John Humenn Staff Writer The physical skills of some ballplayer can be obvious but sometimes it's what's beneath the surface that counts most to major league scouts. "Drive, mental makeup and mental toughness are very important," said Mets scout Pete Smith, a New City resident. "Is he a pressure player? What's inside a ballplayer is a very important factor and that's something our organization looks for." Smith has been scouting 29 years, beginning in 1962 with the Braves ponder what to with draft's first pick When tomorrow's major league baseball amateur free-agent draft gets underway in Comminssioner Fay Vincent's New York office, the Atlanta Braves will face a very difficult decision. The Braves, who own the top pick, must decide whether to select high school flamethrower Todd Van Poppel of Martin High in Arlington, Texas. Van Poppel is 6-foot-5, throws 95 miles per hour and many scouts believe he's the best pitching prospect since Nolan Ryan. Van Poppel, however, insists he will attend the University of Texas, which has offered him a full scholarship. That could change, though, if the Braves overwhelm him with an offer. Another top pitching prospect is Alex Fernandez of Miami-Dade Junior College. Fernandez was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1988 but turned them down to go to Miami. Other players who should go high in the draft include: power-hitting shortstop Tim Costo of the University of Iowa; outfielder Tony Clark of Christian High in El Cajon, Calif., who wants to play basketball at the University of Arizona; power-hitting outfielder Shane Andrews of Carlsbad (N.M.) High; outfielder Carl Everett of Hillsborough High in Tampa, Fla., the same school that produced Dwight Gooden and Gary Sheffield; shortstop Chipper Jones of The Bolles School in Jack- Rocklanders in the Statistics through last Saturday. Listed are the player, his residence in parentheses, the team he plays with the level of play and the major league affiliate in parentheses. Kevin Baez and Frank Gmorelli are former Dominican College players. Batting statistics AB HR RBI BA Kevin Baez (Brooklyn) 117 1 12 .248 Jackson-AA (Mets) Tony DeFrancesco (Suffern) 53 0 4 .264 Chattanooga-AA (Reds) John Flaherty (West Nyack) 62 1 2 .161 Pawtucket-AAA (Red Sox) Dave Jacas (Spring Valley) 135 2 7 .252 Portland-AAA (Twins) Lou Munoz (Suffern) 54 0 4 .130 Winter Haven-A (Red Sox) Pitching statistics W L Sv ERA Frank Cimorelli (Hyde Park) 2 2 0 2.52 Springfield-A (Cardinals) Fixed Rate 30 10.50 Annual Interest Rate At Union State Bank, wc offer all types of mortgages. All at affordable rates with quick approval action. Visit any branch or call Betsy Tbrrcy or Bridget Farrell at (914) 634-0223. "Our mortgages will get you moving at a very nice rate." I he 10.751 annual prrrtnlitjtr ralr is hrA on fhrd annual inlrml rale fur Mi tr T 10.5411 plus 2 points tm Umns up to ilM7,450. AHK is applk-aMr nnl) if immlhlt patmrnl arr autitmaliralh deducled from a t .SB (hrckint account. Hairs arr Minjrct In changr without prior notice. I IBB UNION A Tradition 914-634-0223 Residential Mortgage Center 270 South Little Tor Road. New City. N Y. KW.Sf. Member FDIC For two weeks following the draft, McNamara stayed glued to the phone. "I would be in my basement and I wouldn't leave. I would fall asleep with my hand on the phone," McNamara said. "I'd keep checking to see if the phone worked. I'd call other people and ask them to call me to see if the phone worked." Finally McNamara made some phone calls to see if he could find out where he stood. Houston Colt 45s. He scouted nine years for Houston and is currently in his 20th year of scouting for the Mets. Smith likes to get to the park early to watch batting and infield PETE SMITH practice. "Sometimes you see things in batting practice that you don't see in a game work habits, approach to hitting, mechanics," Smith said. "What I look for in a hitter is Baseball Draft The order of selection in the first round of the 1990 baseball summer free agent selection to be held June 4-6 in New York: I. Atlanta: 2. Detroit; 3. Philadelphia; 4. Chicago White Sox; 5. Pittsburgh; 6. Seattle; 7. Cincinnati; 8. Cleveland; 9. Los Angeles; 10. New York Yankees; II. Montreal; 12. Minnesota; 13. St. Louis; 14. Oakland (from Milwaukee for signing Dave Parker); 15. San Francisco (from Houston for signing Ken Oberkfell); 16. Texas; 17. New York Mets; 18. St. Louis (from Boston for signing Tony Pena); 19. San Francisco (from San Diego for signing Craig Lefferts); 20. Baltimore; 21. Houston (from San Francisco for signing Kevin Bass); 22. Toronto; 23. Chicago Cubs; 24. Montreal (from California for signing Mark Langston); 25. San Diego (from Kansas City for signing Mark Davis); 26. Oakland. sonville, Fla., who has already signed with the University of Miami; and outfielder Adam Hyzdu of Moeller High in Cincinnati, the same school that turned out Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Larkin and Buddy Bell. John Humenn minor leagues Year Mortgage 10.75 Annual Percentage Rate STATE BANK of Community Service wrong "It was kind of embarrassing calling teams and asking, 'Did I get drafted?' Usually it's the team that calls you," McNamara said. McNamara's nightmare got worse before it got better. McNamara got a call from Buddy Paine, his coach with the Generals of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. "He said somebody named McNamara was drafted and (the major league teams) thought it was me so Smith's Top 10 The top 10 Rockland players Mets scout Pete Smith has seen in his 29 years of scouting. Players are listed in alphabetical order. Pete Capello Tony DeFrancesco John Flaherty David Jacas Kurt Lundgren Joe Mackey Joe Rigoli Jim Rooney j Tom Rowe Walt Weiss balance, timing, good eyesight, bat speed, concentration, and no fear he must not be afraid. Hitting is probably the most difficult future grade you have to project." Like all scouts, Smith knows the significance of speed. "Speed is important because it's an asset offensively and defensively," Smith said. "Speed on defense can make up for a lot of deficiencies." In addition to looking at a player's baserunning skills, Smith times the players from home to first. The major league average for a right-handed hitter is 4.3 seconds; 4.2 seconds for a left-handed hitter. Here are some of the skills Smith looks for at each position: Pitcher: "Arm strength does his fastball have good velocity and movement how he pushes off the mound, his breaking pitches, control. "You can judge if he has an "Ywr can Y someTjunp-.Tjie cost of anew Snapper." vim e Trade in your ok) mower And cut the cost ota new Snapper Lawn Tractor For example, add up the savings shown tor model LT12D330B with a 12 hp engine and 33" deck Great deatt are available on other Snapper premium lawn care products CONGERS NEW CITY LAWN MOWER, INC. 437 Route 9W MONSEY POMONA CYCLE I MOWER CORP. 353 Routt 306 NANUET SPECIALTY MOWER REPAIR, INC. 39 W. Prospect Street number a lot of teams scratched me off their lists," McNamara said. Everything worked out in the end, though. Three weeks after the draft McNamara signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent. He played one season for Belling-ham, Wash., in the Class A Northwest League and, even though he was released during spring training last year, he at least got a chance. "I signed as a free agent so it didn't bother me at all," said McNamara. to look for average fastball, which is about 85-87 miles per hour, but you can't measure movement on the ball. That's very subjective." Catcher: "You look to see if he has soft hands. Does he set up a nice target? We also look at how he receives the ball, his footwork behind the plate, arm strength, stamina, durability, reflexes, agility, instincts, poise and size." Middle infielders: "Quickness, good feet, range, hands, ability to make the double play, starting it and completing it. The shortstop usually has the best arm on the team." Third base: "Must have a good arm, a good first step, good reaction to a ground ball, good range, be able to knock the ball down and keep it in front of him." Outfield: "I like to watch the outfielders throw, see their arm strength, see how well the ball carries and see how they react to the ball. Center fielder has best speed and right fielder has the best arm. Right and left are the power positions." First base is another power position but generally players aren't drafted as first baseman. "In some organizations it's true that they will convert a catcher or an outfielder to play first base, but that's not to say that first basemen are not drafted. There are a lot of good ones out there," Smith said. The tricky part is determining how good each player will be in the future. "The big key is being able to project what kind of player he will be in three to five years," Smith said. "It's almost like a gut feeling you have about a player. Putting together all the things you know about him you try to decide whether he's going to play in the major leagues." old mower finally cut C; Trad in your old mower And cut the cost of new Snapper Rider eumple. add up the snown tor model with a 6 hp engine and 25" decK i e Great deals are available on other Snapper lawn care products m your old mower "In A""' cut the cost oLa-oew ' Wff snapper walk Mower WSjJ Tw mPk. P the & V . fQ? """P hown tor model . VT9 21355D with a 3 5 hp en- y,oOJ gine and 21" deck yLf'' 'Great deals are available v on other Snapper premium lawn care products Snap-Credit makes buying asy. NYACK THE HOUSE OF POWER, INC. 70 Route 59 TALLMAN THE MOWER HUT Route 59 VALLEY COTTAGE LOCKE'S HARDWARE & MOWER Old Lake Road I tm tattlMIUTVH Vr .. ' ' "mmc

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