June 8, 2004
Arizona State shortstop Dustin Pedroia went, as expected, in the second round of baseball's draft on Monday. But teammate Jeff Larish fell to the 13th round, and it appears he will return for his senior season.
The Boston Red Sox, who in 1997 drafted a 5-foot-7 University of Florida infielder named David Eckstein (now starting for the Anaheim Angels), drafted the 5-8 Pedroia, the 65th player selected.
“It is kind of an unreal feeling," Pedroia said in a statement. "I was pretty nervous last night and this morning, but I am pretty pumped now after hearing my name called.”
The scouting report from Major League Baseball on Pedroia stated, among other things, "Knows how to play the game. Guy you want on your team. Does what it takes to win."
Pedroia batted .393 with nine homers and 24 doubles this season.
“I am pretty excited about being picked by Boston," Pedroia said.
Larish, projected as a first-round possibility during the preseason and tabbed the 46th best prospect by Baseball America in its final rankings, was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th round.
Larish said he wasn't surprised he was passed over.
"I'm not shocked at all. I knew this is the way it would work out," he said. "There was a rumor going around. . . a couple of teams came to me before wondering if I would go for second-round money. I felt like it would take first (round money) to take me.
"They didn't see it that way. I understand where they're coming from. Because of the way my year went, my past performance shouldn't be overlooked."
Larish was bothered by a wrist injury throughout the season and his average (.372 to .309) and power (18 homers to seven) numbers from 2003 dropped off. He said the wrist "is all right," but this week, he will get the results of an MRI exam from earlier in the year "to get it squared away."
As for his immediate future, Larish said, "I'll just wait and see what the Dodgers' position is. As of now, it looks like I'll seriously consider going back to ASU."
Infielder Josh Asanovich and pitcher Jason Urquidez transferred to ASU from Central Arizona College together and they were nearly drafted together.
Both went in Round 11. Asanovich, who was listed by his first name, Robert, went to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at No. 315, and Urquidez went to the Cincinnati Reds at No. 317.
Two former Sun Devils who transferred after last season improved their draft ratings.
Pitcher Ryan Schroyer, who completed his career at San Diego State, went in the fifth round to Boston after being selected in the 11th round last year, and outfielder Rod Allen of Oklahoma State was drafted in the 12th round by the New York Yankees after going in the 22nd round the year before.
Three University of Arizona players were selected: pitcher Koley Kolberg (Diamondbacks, seventh round), shortstop John Hardy (Philadelphia Phillies, seventh round) and catcher Richard Mercado (Diamondbacks, 12th round).
Travis Kaats, an outfielder from Grand Canyon University and Desert Mountain High School, was drafted in the 16th round by the Cincinnati Reds.