Seven Rainbows drafted, Wong in first round

June 14th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Sports

Second baseman Kolten Wong tagging a runner

Kolten Wong tags a runner at second base

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa baseball did well in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, with a record seven players taken, including first-round pick Kolten Wong.

The St. Louis Cardinals selected Wong with the 22nd overall pick. The second-baseman was the first Rainbow position player selected in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft, and third first-rounder in UH baseball history.

Drafted at age 17 by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round of the 2008 draft after racking up honors at Kamehameha-Hawaiʻi in Keaʻau, Wong opted to play for UH instead. He was named Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and scored 25 home runs in just three seasons, placing second in the Rainbows’ all-time rolls, earning first-team all-WAC honors three times and Louisville Slugger Third-Team All-American designation in 2011.

Three additional players—all pitchers—were drafted on day two.

  • Lenny Linsky, who ranks second all-time for the Rainbows in career saves with 27, was the 89th pick, going to the Tampa Bay Rays in the second round.
  • Blair Walters, who led the ’Bows in wins with a 7–2 record, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 11th round.
  • Michael Blake, a lefty who also saw action at first base, was selected in the 16th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Three other UH pitchers were also drafted—Randy Yard, by the Cincinnati Reds in the 36th round; Alex Capaul, in the 43rd round by the Arizona Diamondbacks; and Connor Little, by the Florida Marlins in the 49th round.

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