Options vary for shortstops

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

They play the same position, and yet they in vastly different situations.

Toronto shortstop Sammie Starr of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds was selected in the 34th round of Major League Baseball's annual draft of high-schoolers and collegians on Wednesday by the Baltimore Orioles.

Nine picks later, Brantford shortstop Brandon Dailey of the Intercounty Terriers went to the Cincinnati Reds.

Starr hit .366 with three homers and 41 RBIs for the 41-13 T-Birds, yet, as a college senior, he must take the O's offer to continue playing.

"James Keller, their scout on the coast, called and asked if I'd sign before they picked me," Starr said from Vancouver. "(Keller) saw us against Lewis-Clark and Fresno Pacific. Still, it was pretty exciting. My mom and sister are here."

Dailey, on the other hand, has choices. After the high schooler anchors the Team Canada infield at the world junior championship in Thunder Bay next month, he can either sign with the Reds or accept a scholarship to Ohio University.

"I'm standing on the fence.It would be great to go play at Ohio. It would be great play pro," Dailey said. "Mitch Clarke, my teammate from last year, signed with the Reds. This is definitely one of the most exciting moments in my life."

Dailey was at school in a spare when he received news he'd been drafted by Reds scout Bill Byckowski.

"Mom was watching the live draft tracker and called," Dailey said. "The only thing this beats is the day I received the phone call from Greg Hamilton to play for Canada."

Team Canada gathers at the Rogers Centre on July 5 to work out, then heads to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecitcut and finally Minneapolis and St. cloud, Minn., for pre-tournament exhibition games on its way to Thunder Bay.

"Defence is the best part of his game right now," said Terriers manager Danny Thompson. "He's proven he can hit pro pitching in instructional league, extended spring and against Dominican pros."

Dailey hit .339 with eight hits, including five doubles, driving in eight runs in the Dominican. Ex-Jays scout Walt Jefferies of Paris, Ont., first saw Dailey in Brantford, Thompson saw him play in Guelph and he "played short, homered and closed the game. That was all I needed."

Starr is named after his great-grandfather Sam Starr, part of a group which bought the triple-A Toronto Maple Leafs in 1964 from Jack Kent Cooke.

Starr played for his father, Les, then coaches John Jepson and Paul Roberts as North York won the 2002 Canadian bantam title and Jason Chee-Aloy's Toronto Mets as well as working out at Rob and Rich Butler's Home Run Academy in Ajax.

"I enjoyed my year at UBC playing with seniors Nic Lendovy, Alex White and Mark Hardy," Starr said.

CANADIANS TAKEN IN MLB DRAFT: DAY 3

RD TEAM POS. PLAYER HOMETOWN TEAM

27 Giants C Eric Sim Abbotsford, B.C. University of South Florida

30 Pirates C Matt Skirving London Eastern Michigan University

32 Rangers RHP Steve McKinnon Duncan, B.C. Nanaimo Pirates/CNJT

34 Orioles SS Sammie Starr Toronto University of British Columbia

34 Reds SS Brandon Dailey Brantford Intercounty Terriers/CNJT

35 Padres RHP Mike Ellis Surrey, B.C. Langley Blaze/CNJT

36 Mets RHP Jensen Dygestile-Therrien Montreal Academie Baseball Can./CNJT

38 Rangers C Carson Vitale Victoria, B.C. Creighton University

39 Giants C Tommy Tremblay Boucherville, Que. Academie Baseball Canada

40 Cubs LHP Brian Smith Pickering Toronto Mets/CNJT

43 Padres LHP Mark Hardy Campbell River, B.C. University of British Columbia

45 Jays OF Philip Diedrick Ajax Ontario Blue Jays/CNJT

46 Jays RHP Connor Smith Grimsby Intercounty Terriers

46 Yankees RHP Nathan Forer Brampton Southern Illinois University

47 Braves RHP Francois Lafreniere St. Bruno, Que. St. Petersburg College

47 Phillies LHP Ethan Stewart Campbell River, B.C. New Mexico Junior College

48 Jays C Nick Studer Toronto Toronto Mets

49 Yankees OF Bryan Arthur Abbotsford, B.C. Abbotsford Cardinals

50 Jays C Kelly Norris-Jones Victoria Victoria Mariners

CNJT -- CANADIAN NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM


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