|Tuesday, June 4
Houston high schoolers both picked in first round
HOUSTON -- Although they didn't go in the expected order Tuesday, Clint Everts and Scott Kazmir of suburban Houston's Cypress Falls High School became the fourth pair from a single high school to be selected in the first round of the baseball draft.
Everts, with a fastball in the 90 mile-per-hour range and a sharp curve, was less heralded but jumped ahead of his teammate when the Montreal Expos made him the fifth player chosen in the draft.
"It's crazy, it's awesome to have two guys on one team competing and raising each others levels to go in the first round,'' Everts said. "I would have put money that he'd go to the Reds with the first pick.
"I don't know what happened. We could be playing against each other someday.''
Kazmir was expected to go to Cincinnati with the third pick. Instead, he wasn't chosen until the New York Mets made him the 15th player selected in the first round.
"I don't know how to explain any of it but I know that Clint and I worked hard enough and we deserve this,'' Kazmir said. "Now it's over and we don't have to worry about it any more.''
Kazmir had an 11-2 record and 0.37 earned run average for the Golden Eagles this season, striking out 172 batters in 75 innings. Last year as a junior he threw four consecutive no hitters.
Everts, who struck out 157 in 81 innings this season, pitched a no hitter as a junior in a game when he struck out 17. He finished the high school season at 8-2 with a 0.73 ERA.
Brian Peters, Kazmir's adviser, said the Reds didn't follow through with their plans.
"I don't think the Reds had a clear focus,'' Peters said. "But this is baseball and things happen. The most exciting thing was Scott was picked in the National League and he'll get a chance to face the Reds.''
Peters doesn't anticipate similar problems with the Mets.
"I'm sure they'll get together and work something out with the Mets,'' Peters said. "It's a good deal for Scott. As the draft got rolling after No. 10, I hoped he go at No. 15.''
Kazmir, who has never been to New York, was just glad to have the process over.
"I'm glad it was the Mets, they are a good team,'' Kazmir said. "It's just a big Adrenalin rush. I don't know how to explain it.''
Cypress Falls coach Brent McDonald shuttled between the homes of his two stars, congratulating the celebrating families in each household.
"I'm proud of our whole team,'' McDonald said. "Those two are just special players. More than great players, they are special teammates too.''
McDonald said Kazmir will need to develop his change-up in the pros. He didn't need it in high school.
"We didn't let him throw it in high school, although we worked on it in the bullpen,'' McDonald said. "If he'd slowed it down, it would have leveled the playing field a little. The batters would be saying thank you for throwing it slower.
"Clint has a great breaking ball. His fastball is in the mid 90s and he's very competitive. They both are very competitive. They fed off each other and that was good for us.''
Patrick J. Murphy, who is advising Everts, isn't concerned the Expos might be contracted out of existence.
"When Clint worked out for the Expos, they seemed very impressed and we decided to let the chips falls where they may,'' Murphy said. "We feel really good about our relationship.''
Everts isn't worried about the next step.
"I'm going fishing,'' Everts said. "I think they'll get something worked out in the next few weeks. I'm not worried about contraction either. If that were to happen, I think someone would pick me up.''