Yanks pick HS pitcher; Mo’s boy taken by Nats
Major League Baseball’s First Year Player Draft continued Tuesday. In the third round, the Yankees used the 92nd overall selection to take a right-handed pitcher, Drew Finley, from Rancho Bernardo High School near San Diego.
The righthander, 18, set the California state record for strikeouts in a single game with 20 in an April game. Finley is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds who posted a 9-1 record and 0.90 ERA with 25 walks and 124 strikeouts in 78 innings. The Yanks will try to sign him even if he has committed to the University of Southern California.
A year ago, the Yankees drafted Mariano Rivera III, son of the all-time saves leader, but the young pitcher chose to return to college and had a sensational season at Iona where he was named the Mid-American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year. The younger Rivera was taken in the fourth round this year, by the Nationals, who just happened to be in the Bronx Tuesday night to begin a two-game, inter-league series against the Yankees.
Finley also has professional baseball bloodlines. His father is David Finley, who played in the Athletics’ minor league system and is now vice president of amateur and international scouting for the Dodgers.
The Yankees’ fourth-round choice was Oregon State University outfielder Jeff Hendrix, who hit .339 with 15 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 34 RBI in 58 games and 221 at-bats this year as a junior. Hendrix also returned to college last year after being selected in a late round (39th) by the Royals. Oregon State was the school attended by Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, currently on the disabled list.