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Jesuit SS Lockwood 'beyond excited' to be drafted

Jesuit shortstop Nick Lockwood committed to USF back in his junior season. Now, he has an interesting decision to make after the Minnesota Twins selected him in the ninth round of Wednesday's MLB draft.

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"It was incredibly special," Lockwood said. "I'm beyond excited."

Lockwood, who was taken with the 282nd overall pick on the draft's second day, was the second local high school player selected. Plant's Mychal Givens was selected by the Orioles with the 54th overall pick in the second round.

"It's cool getting drafted," Lockwood said. "But college has always been something that's been my main goal. Right now, I'm not leaning either way."

Lockwood hit .380 with five homers and 26 RBIs for the Tigers, who spent several weeks ranked as the No. 1 team in the country. He injured his ankle in the regular-season finale, missing three district tournament games.

He had participated in a workout with the Twins leading up to the draft. One factor that might come into play: Lockwood's brother, former Jesuit standout Ryan Lockwood, is a draft-eligible underclassman at USF.

former tiger plucked by a's: Former Jesuit pitcher Sam Dyson, who has been playing collegiately at South Carolina, was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 10th round, the 303rd selection.

Dyson, drafted out of Jesuit in the 19th round in 2006 by the Nationals, was 9-4 with a 5.21 ERA with the Gamecocks this past spring. The right-hander held opponents to a .237 batting average.

Some had projected Dyson as a late-first round selection, and he was ranked the 38th-best overall prospect by Baseball America.

Scouts love his 97 mph fastball, and he had 89 strikeouts and walked just 33 in 95 innings this season as a redshirt sophomore. He has added an 82 mph curve. Dyson overcame right labrum surgery that kept him out as a freshman at South Carolina to become the Gamecocks' ace.

Schuster's stock falls: Mitchell left-hander Patrick Schuster, a Florida commit, was the Arizona Diamondbacks' 13th-round pick (396th overall). Baseball America recently ranked him the nation's No. 164 overall draft prospect (college and prep).

"I expected to go a little higher," said Schuster, reached by phone at New Port Richey's Magnolia Valley Golf Club. "I don't know really (why he fell to the 13th round). I haven't talked to anybody yet. They haven't told me."

He shot to national fame when he tossed a state-record four consecutive no-hitters in April, but was on college and pro scouts' proverbial radar long before. A breakout junior season, highlighted by a 20-strikeout effort at Gulf, was followed by a series of solid performances at some national "showcase" events over the summer.

Schuster finished his senior year 8-1 with a 0.93 ERA, striking out 115 and walking only 29 in 60 innings. A recent scouting report from Baseball America said "his slight frame (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) lends little future projection, and scouts agreed he might even lose some deception as he fills out physically."

When asked Wednesday if the money he could be offered as a 13th-round pick will be enough to sway him from UF, Schuster said, "Probably not."

Dragon drafted: Jefferson SS/OF Chad Taylor was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 13th round. Taylor, who signed with USF, was taken with the 410th overall pick.

"It was great just hearing your name," Taylor said. "There's just a lot of relief. It felt great because it's always been a dream of mine to play in the major leagues one day."

Taylor's stock rose significantly during the high school season. And that interest peaked at postseason all-star games, where Taylor showed good range in centerfield after playing shortstop during the season. The Cubs drafted him as a shortstop.

"I definitely felt it," Taylor said of the increased attention. "I noticed it when more scouts were coming to my practices."

Taylor batted .342 with six doubles, six homers, 24 RBIs, 25 hits with 27 runs — all team highs — as a senior. He said he's still undecided whether he will turn pro or go to USF.

"I think it's just an honor to be drafted," Taylor said. "… If the money is right I'll definitely go, but if not I'm going to USF."

Mallard still in angels' sights: For the second straight year, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim drafted former Middleton standout Jamie Mallard. Mallard was drafted by the Angels with the final pick of the 18th round, the 561st selection overall. Last season, they took Mallard in the 17th round out of Middleton, but he didn't sign and went to Hillsborough Community College.

This spring, Mallard hit .449 with 10 homers and 58 RBIs at HCC.

Staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.

Jesuit SS Lockwood 'beyond excited' to be drafted 06/10/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:04pm]
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