Pair of Edmonton-area kids drafted

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

They played against each other when they were kids.

They both attended the baseball-oriented Vauxhall Academy high school.

And, yesterday, a pair of 18-year-old Edmonton-area kids had their names called on Day 2 of the Major League Baseball amateur draft.

Right-handed pitcher Steven Inch of Edmonton was picked 197th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Seattle took Adam Nelubowich of Spruce Grove in the 14th round, 413th overall. Nelubowich played outfield in Vauxhall, but was drafted as a third baseman by the Mariners.

Did we mention both of the draftees were excited?

"It's exciting to be picked by a club that won the World Series," said Inch, who played for the SEEBA Cardinals and Confederation Park.

"I didn't expect to be drafted so high. Hopefully, I can make something out of it."

The scouting reports on Inch are impressed with his control and ability to hit the strike zone. He's got 87-91 mph velocity on his fastball and apparently throws a really good curve ball.

He's a lanky six-foot-four, 190 pounder who caught the attention of the University of Kentucky, the same program that produced Toronto Blue Jays' first-rounder James Paxton.

"I never realized I was making progress until about two months ago," said Inch. "It happened really fast. I was pitching a game in Kamloops against a B.C. Premier League team and there were some scouts in the crowd. Everything seemed to come together really well. Coming from the program (at Vauxhall), it's hard not to do well."

Nelubowich played out of Spruce Grove and figures it's cool that his former rival and teammate got drafted on the same day.

"Steve and I have played against each other since we were 10-15 years old in the leagues around Edmonton," said Nelubowich. "It was pretty cool to get drafted on the same day."

Nelubowich was trying to keep track of the draft on the Internet, walked away for a while and sat back down just as his name popped up.

"It's a weird feeling when your name is called," said Nelubowich. "From the guys I've talked to, 14th-round was pretty much in the range I expected."

What was unexpected was having his name called as a third baseman.

"I went down to Seattle a couple of weeks ago for a pre-draft workout and they must have liked what they saw when I worked out at third base," said Nelubowich. "I'm totally happy with that."

Nelubowich is considered very athletic and his versatility showed. He's considered to be a pure hitter and a really good lefthanded switch-hitter.

"They're both tremendous student athletes," said Vauxhall coach Les McTavish.

Vauxhall righty Brandon Petite was picked 911th overall by Houston.


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