Kapa‘a top player waits on MLB draft

  • Jason Blasco / The Garden Island

    Former Kapaʻa High School player Noa Cardinez works out at Ron Martin Field. Cardinez, who attracted Major League baseball scouts at the start of his senior season, hopes to be considered in the top-five rounds of the Major League baseball Amatuer draft. Rounds two through five will happen at 2 p.m. today.

KAPA‘A—Recent Kapa‘a High School graduate and baseball player, Noa Cardinez, will wait for a phone call to alter his future.

Cardinez said he plans to sit and watch rounds two through five of Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft Thursday afternoon with close friends and family.

“I am starting to get nervous and anxious,” Cardinez told The Garden Island newspaper in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “Hopefully, I can get a call tomorrow, but if not, I’ll probably just keep grinding.”

The first round of the MLB draft picks occurred Wednesday afternoon.

Cardinez is projected by some MLB scouts to go in the top five rounds of the draft, he said.

In that scenario, if Cardinez is selected in the top five rounds, he could cash in.

There is recent speculation that MLB is targeting more polished players with collegiate experience, but like in any professional draft, that could change.

The signing bonus range for second through fifth round picks is from $300,000 to $845,000, Cardinez said.

This season, the draft was shrunk from 40 rounds to five rounds, a cost-cutting move to save money that is usually dispersed in signing bonus packages. MLB, financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, plans on saving $30 million they give out in signing bonuses.

Cardinez, who signed a partial baseball scholarship with the University of Hawai’i-Manoa, told The Garden Island Wednesday afternoon his intention is to major in marine biology if he doesn’t get drafted.

If Cardinez gets drafted Thursday afternoon, he will join former Kapa‘a player Micah Furtado, who was drafted in the 20th round by the Texas Rangers’ organization in 2003.

Another player selected from Kaua‘i includes Kirby Yates, a former Red Raider player, drafted in the 26th round of the 2005 draft by the Boston Red Sox.

The Oakland Athletics drafted Kirby Yates’ older brother Tyler Yates in the 23rd round of the 1998 draft.

Cardinez still hasn’t committed to either the U of H, or the professional baseball.

“If I don’t get the call tomorrow, I will most likely be spending the next three years working on my craft at U of H,” Cardinez said.

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