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BASEBALL: Murrieta Valley's Wisdom a sandwich pick by Cardinals

03/04/2013, 1:58pm PST
By By BRIAN HAAS bhaas@californian.com

Patrick Wisdom figured he would hear his named called Tuesday in the 2012 Major League Baseball first-year players draft.

Patrick Wisdom figured he would hear his named called Tuesday in the 2012 Major League Baseball first-year players draft.

What the Murrieta Valley High graduate didn't know is how early his named would be called.

Wisdom, who just completed his junior season at St. Marys, was selected on the first night of the draft by St. Louis with the 52nd overall pick.

"It's a dream come true," Wisdom said. 'My adviser called me up on Monday and told me he didn't think it would happen that night but that he was going to see what he could do. Less then five minutes later, he called back seeking my OK with the Cardnials. I said, 'Let's do it,' and the next thing I know my name was on the TV."

The 6-foot, 2-inch third baseman, who started all 53 games this season for the Gaels and led the team with nine home runs, is the second highest draft pick in St. Mary's school history.

Wisdom said he plans on foregoing his senior year of college and will sign with the club in the next few days.

And, if the past is any indication, it could be a smart decision. 

According to Baseball America, the slot value of a signing bonus for the 52nd pick is just shy of $1 million. In 2011, the 52nd pick, Blake Snell, reeived slot value of $684,000.

Wisdom, who idolized Mark McGwire as a youngster, said he is grateful of the opportunity.

"Ever since I have been playing on the Pony fields, I have dreamed about playing in the big leagues," Wisdom said. "It's just very exciting to know that all of the hard work, time, and effort is paying off and that I am taking the next step to accomplishing that dream."

Wisdom was one of three Valley players selected Tuesday on the second day of the 2012 draft.

Vista Murrieta grad Taylor Garrison was selected No. 247 overall (seventh round) by the New York Yankees, while Great Oak's Zach Jemiola (ninth round) was selected No. 288 overall by Colorado.

"When I found out, I was almost speechless," Jemiola said. "It's just, wow, I am going to realize my dream of playing professionally"

Jemiola said he received calls from the Chicago Cubs and White Sox earlier in the day telling him that he would be their 10th round selection, but was surprised when he received a call from Colorado during the ninth round.

"I was ecstatic, I'm so happy to be a part of the Rockies organization," Jemiola said.

Jemiola, who earlier this year committed to play college ball at UC Riverside, is the third Great Oak player to be selected in the last three years, joining Cody Stewart in 2011, (No. 1,528 Yankees) and Brad Salgado in 2010 (No. 1198 White Sox).

Stewart, like Jemiola, committed to UCR but did not sign and opted to play at the collegiate level.

Jemiola, however, will make a different decision in the coming days when he is expected to sign with a bonus worth approximately $130,000.

During his senior campaign at Great Oak, Jemiola made seven starts and struck out 24 batters in his 23 1/3 innings on the mound.

"It just makes all that hard work worth it," Jemiola said. "All those runs, all that sweat ... it's hard to explain how much it means."

Garrison, a 2008 graduate of of Vista Murrieta, just completed his senior year with Fresno State. Used as a reliever, Garrison made 28 appearances in 2012 and maintained an ERA of 2.98 during 42 1/3 innings.

The right-hander was selected by the Dodgers in the 27th round last year, but opted not to sign and finish his college career.

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