Sports

Piper-Jordan signs with Oakland; Ishikawa in Maryland

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

It’s official. Andre Piper-Jordan is a professional baseball player.

The 2003 Federal Way High School graduate signed with the Oakland Athletics last week after playing his freshman season for the Everett Community College Trojans. The A’s selected Piper-Jordan in the 28th round (847th overall pick) of the June 8th draft.

“It’s a lifelong dream come true,” Piper-Jordan said. “I’m excited for it.”

The speedy center fielder left for Oakland’s Rookie Ball team in Phoenix on Tuesday and will start playing games next week. The Rookie Ball League runs through the end of August.

“They told me our longest bus ride would only be an hour long,” Piper-Jordan said. “But it’s real hot down here. I got off the plane and it was way hotter than the hottest day at home.”

There is a chance he could get “called up” to Oakland’s Single-A affiliate in Vancouver, B.C. sometime during the season. Vancouver plays in the Northwest League with the Everett Aquasox.

Piper-Jordan received an undisclosed signing bonus as well as his final three years of college paid for. The money for school is put in a trust fund and can be used during or after a players professional career is over.

“That’s what I asked for,” he said about the money for school. “Just in case it doesn’t work out and I can go back to college and play football or something.”

Out of Federal Way, Piper-Jordan signed a letter of intent to play football for Eastern Washington University, but turned down the full-ride scholarship to play baseball at Everett CC. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder was an All-State wide receiver/defensive back during his senior year with the Eagles.

“Football was my first love,” he said. “But baseball was right behind. I figured I could have a longer career in baseball.”

During his freshman season at Everett, Piper-Jordan set an NWAACC record with 37 stolen bases while hitting .327 with four doubles and 15 RBIs in the wood bat league.

“(Playing at Everett) really helped me a lot, swinging a wood bat,” he said.

Piper-Jordan was a little surprised how late he went in the draft.

“I was surprised I didn’t go on the first day (which included the first 18 rounds),” he said. “So I am just going to have to go out there and prove myself.”

The A’s official Web site — Athletics.com — scouting report describes Piper-Jordan as a “glider with plus speed” who is “disruptive on the bases.”

Travis Ishikawa update

The 2002 Federal Way High School graduate is again playing for the Hagerstown (Md.) Suns, who play in the South Atlantic League. The Suns, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, are classified as a “Long A” team, meaning its one step down from “High A” ball in the minor league system. Ishikawa was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 21st round of the June 2002 Major League Baseball Draft.

Ishikawa split time last season with Hagerstown and the “Short A” Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the Northwest League.

The sweet-swinging left-handed first baseman has been struggling at the plate during the early part of the 2004 season, but broke out Wednesday night with the best game of his minor league career. In a 14-7 loss to Delmarva, Ishikawa was 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double and four RBIs. The night raised his average to .207 with six doubles, seven home runs and 22 RBIs.

He leads the team with 27 runs scored and has been hitting most of the season in the No. 2 spot in the order.

The biggest problem Ishikawa is trying to overcome is striking out. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder has struck out a team-high 64 times.

Hagerstown is currently 27-36 in South Atlantic League play.

Green River has two players drafted

Green River Community College’s David Patton and Pedro Hawkins were selected in the 2004 draft. Patton, a pitcher from Kentridge, went in the 12th round (350th overall) to the Colorado Rockies and Hawkins, a center fielder from Franklin (Seattle), was selected in the 23rd round (678th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds.

Patton was 1-5 with a 3.71 ERA for the Gators this season and Hawkins hit .392 with 14 doubles, 14 RBIs and 28 stolen bases.

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