Pumphrey tops state's draft team

June 04, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

The Toronto Blue Jays' first-round pick in Thursday's amateur baseball draft should be a familiar name to Mount St. Joseph alumni. Shortstop Kevin Witt, the last pick of the first round, is the son of former Mount St. Joe standout basketball and baseball player Danny Witt.

Danny Witt played shortstop at St. Joe for Jerry Savage (current basketball coach at Loyola High) and basketball for Gene Nieberlein before graduating in 1967. He made both teams as a freshman and led the Gaels basketball team to a Maryland Scholastic Association title over Sugar Cain's Dunbar Poets at Morgan State in 1964.

The younger Witt is a 6-foot-4, 185-pound shortstop who batted .481 with 30 RBIs, 12 doubles, five triples and five homers for Bishop Kenny High in Jacksonville, Fla.

Witt played here last summer with the Jacksonville American Legion on the team's trip up to New York, where it played Mayo Legion.

Jacksonville Legion, whose pitching coach was George Davis, the father of former Orioles pitcher Storm Davis, played Gunther's Little Orioles at Arundel High in Gambrills, and Witt hit a three-run homer over the right-field fence to win the game by 8-6.

The local player selected highest was Old Mill's 6-5 right-hander Ken Pumphrey, who was taken on the fourth round by the New York Mets. Pumphrey was 7-2 with an 2.59 ERA for the Patriots of coach Mel Montgomery.

"I expect to talk to the Mets this weekend," said Pumphrey, who has made an oral commitment to UMBC if he doesn't sign.

"I'm in no rush to sign. I need to get an education for what I will do the rest of my life."

Major League Baseball releases only the first round of the draft and does not disclose other picks until later, but several Marylanders have been taken in later rounds.

Tom Szimanski, who graduated from Archbishop Curley in 1990, was chosen by the Seattle Mariners on the fifth round. Szimanski blew out his knee in his senior year, pitched for Bedouins amateur team that summer and went on to Florida Southern, where he has been their closer the past two years.

Walter Chapman, a right-hander clocked in the low 90s at Beall High in Cumberland, was drafted in the sixth round by the Minnesota Twins. Chapman has committed to the University of Maryland.

The Twins also got left-hander Kasey Richardson of Northern High in Calvert County on the 16th round. Richardson said he expects to sign today.

Outfielder David Crutchfield of Richard Montgomery High in Rockville was the first position player from the area to be taken, by the Cubs. Crutchfield, who has extraordinary speed, was selected on the 11th round. On the 25th round, the Cubs grabbed Glen Burnie left-hander Keith Volkman.

Rich Spiegel, The Sun's 1992 All-Metro catcher at State 2A champion Northeast, was taken by the Atlanta Braves on Round 22. Spiegel hit .380 with seven homers and 38 RBIs for Anne Arundel Community College this spring.

Lansdowne's Jeremy Benson, a left-hander who pitched at Dundalk Community College before moving to the University of Delaware, was a 27th-round pick of the New York Yankees. Benson was 11-1 with a 1.80 ERA for the Blue Hens this season.

Benson pitched last summer on the same Walter Youse coached Corrigan's staff with James Madison left-hander Greg Whiteman, who was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the third round.

Johns Hopkins second baseman Joe Kail also played on the Corrigan's National 20-and-Under team and was chosen by the Texas Rangers in Round 20.

"Joe is the best second baseman I've ever had," said Youse, who has coached scores of players who have gone on to the majors.

Also, Prince George's CC right-hand pitcher Carlos Simmons was a 14th-round choice of the Rangers.

MARYLANDERS IN DRAFT

Marylanders selected through the first 31 rounds of the major-league draft:

Name -- Ken Pumphrey

Position -- RHP

School -- Old Mill

Round-Club -- 4th Mets

Name -- Tom Szimanski

Position -- RHP

School -- Curley/Fla. Southern

Round-Club -- 5th Seattle

Name -- Walter Chapman

Position -- RHP

School -- Beall

Round-Club -- 6th Minnesota

Name -- David Crutchfield

Position -- OF

School -- Richard Montgomery

Round-Club -- 11th Cubs

Name -- Carlos Simmons

Position -- RHP

School -- Oxon Hill/PGCC

Round-Club -- 14th Texas

Name -- Kasey Richardson

Position -- LHP

School -- Northern (Calvert)

Round-Club -- 16th Minn.

Name -- Joe Kail

Position -- 2B

School -- Johns Hopkins

Round-Club -- 20th Texas

@Name -- Rich Spiegel

Position -- C Northeast/Anne Arundel

School -- CC

Round-Club -- 22nd Atlanta

Name -- Keith Volkman

Position -- LHP

School -- Glen Burnie

Round-Club -- 25th Cubs

Name -- Jeremy Benson

Position -- LHP

School -- Lansdowne/Delaware

Round-Club -- 27th Yankees

Name -- Sean Ryan

Position -- RHP

School -- Broadneck

Round-Club -- 31st Texas

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