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St. Petersburg College teammates, Northeast grad drafted

Josh Bowman, a former pitcher at Northeast, is chosen by the Oakland A’s in the 10th round. He currently pitches for the University of Tampa.

ANDY MENG | Special to the Times

Josh Bowman, a former pitcher at Northeast, is chosen by the Oakland A’s in the 10th round. He currently pitches for the University of Tampa.

This past season, Austin Wood and Cody Allen were the workhorses of St. Petersburg College's staff, pitchers who gave their school a chance to win every time they took the mound.

Both also hoped to be picked in the first two days of Major League Baseball's amateur draft.

Their wish was fulfilled Tuesday, though it was not exactly where either one anticipated being selected.

Wood, who was projected as high as the second round, was picked in the fourth round (131st overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays.

"You can never predict the draft," SPC coach Dave Pano said. "I knew he would go at a pretty decent spot. I'm sure he was happy he was taken."

Wood has the look and build of a big-league pitcher. He is a 6-foot-4 right-hander who was selected in the 36th round in 2008. He opted to play for Florida State before transferring this past season to the Titans.

A flamethrower with a fastball clocked at 97 mph, Wood went 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA for SPC.

Evan Brannon, a former standout at St. Petersburg and SPC, was the Rays scout who kept tabs on Wood.

"I was hoping to go higher, possibly in the second round," said Wood, who has already signed with the University of Southern California. "I'm looking for slot money there and some teams were not willing to go for that.

"I thought once we got the to the fourth round, I would be taken a lot lower. Then the Rays called."

Wood still is contemplating whether to play in the Cape Cod League this summer, a prestigious wood bat league for pro prospects.

Allen, a right-hander, went in the 16th round (480th overall) to the Cleveland Indians.

This is the first time Allen has been drafted. He was listed as the 31st-best junior college player by Perfect Game USA. He was projected to go in rounds 5-10.

"I was expecting to go a little bit higher," said Allen, who has signed with High Point (N.C.) University. "I've talked to the Indians and they know my asking price (fifth- to 10th-round money)."

Wood and Allen's batterymate, Josh Mowry, was taken in the 20th round (614th overall) by the Atlanta Braves.

University of Tampa's Josh Bowman, a Northeast graduate, was selected in the 10th round (305th overall) by the A's.

Bowman, a right-handed pitcher, was 8-5 with a 3.95 ERA and 85 strikeouts this past season.

Eckerd's Chris Clinton, a former standout at Seminole, was selected in the 23rd round (688 overall) by the Baltimore Orioles.

Clinton, an outfielder, hit .314 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs this past season for the Tritons.

Other high school or college players with Pinellas County ties who could be selected today include Jake Rogers, a former star at Dunedin who played for the Titans this past season.

Rogers was selected in the 29th round by the Red Sox in 2008 but chose to sign with SPC.

The Titans' other possible draft selections are Ryan Kennedy and Pat Quinn.

Clearwater infielder Sean O'Brien, Countryside catcher Daniel Torres and Dunedin first baseman/pitcher Alex Norris, the three selections for the Florida Athletic Coaches Association all-star game two weeks ago in Sebring, also have a shot to go today.

Also Tuesday, Brooks-DeBartolo senior shortstop Jadamion "J.D." Williams and older brother Reggie Williams Jr. were selected within five picks of each other in the 10th round.

J.D., who has signed with Maryland, was selected by Minnesota with the 315th overall selection. He was the first bay area high school player drafted.

Reggie, a senior standout at Brooks-DeBartolo last year who played at Middle Georgia College this spring, was selected by St. Louis with the 319th selection.

They are sons of former major-leaguer Reggie Williams Sr.

"That's really exciting, man," Reggie Williams Sr. said. "Everyone wants to get drafted in the first round, but I've told my boys now they've got to show they were worthy of getting drafted in the 10th round and prove they should have been drafted nine rounds higher.

"It's a great honor. You can't take it for granted."

Brandon senior Roderick Shoulders was drafted by the Red Sox in the 20th round. Shoulders, who has signed with State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, was selected with the 623rd pick. He hit .377 with four homers and 27 RBIs his senior year.

Armwood pitcher/shortstop Zack Powers was selected in the 28th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Powers, who was named the Times' Hillsborough County Player of the Year this past weekend, was taken with the 837th overall pick.

Powers, a Florida recruit, led Armwood to the Class 5A state title game. He hit .411 with three homers and 18 RBIs and was 9-1 with a 1.51 ERA.

East Lake's Higbee gets first offer

Tyler Higbee received a lot of attention from colleges this spring but no offers.

One finally came this week.

Eagles coach Bob Hudson said Colorado State offered the receiver, who is a rising senior.

Higbee showed he was capable of making a play last season, leading the team with 33 catches for 487 yards and two touchdowns. In the spring game against Gibbs, he continued to shine with seven receptions for more than 100 yards.

Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this report.

St. Petersburg College teammates, Northeast grad drafted 06/08/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 11:54pm]
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