BASEBALL: Miami well-represented in MLB draft

With the seventh pick of the 2008 Major League Baseball first-year player draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected junior first baseman Yonder Alonso, higher than experts had projected. That pick set the tone for a successful opening day for the No. 1 team in the country.

Alonso became the top college first baseman taken, ahead of junior Justin Smoak of the University of South Carolina, who was swept off the board by the Texas Rangers with the 11th pick.

Junior second baseman Jemile Weeks was chosen six players after Alonso at No. 12 by the Oakland Athletics. Weeks was previously selected in the eighth round of the 2005 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, where his older brother Rickie is the starting second baseman.

The Minnesota Twins rounded out the first round for the Hurricanes with the 27th pick by selecting junior right-handed pitcher Carlos Gutierrez. The Twins have a history of choosing Canes; Alonso was taken by the organization in the 15th round of the 2005 draft.

The Seattle Mariners once again drafted right fielder Dennis Raben with the 66th selection overall in the second round. In 2005, the franchise selected Raben out of high school in the 49th round.

Junior center fielder Blake Tekotte heard his name called in the third round with the 101st pick by the San Diego Padres and sophomore third baseman Mark Sobolewski in the fourth round with the 129th selection by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Continuing coverage of both days of the draft at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex can be viewed live at

Christina De Nicola may be contacted at