‘Iolani outfielder Shane Sasaki, a first-team Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selection and runner-up in the state player of the year voting, was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the third round (No. 99 overall) of the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday.
Sasaki’s .565 batting average was tops on the All-State first team and he added five homers with 26 RBIs and 26 runs scored.
UPDATE: A jet-lagged Shane Sasaki says he expects to sign with Rays
The 6-foot, right-handed swinging dual threat is ranked No. 191 in Baseball America’s rankings of the top 500 draft-eligible prospects. He signed with Cal Poly for college but has hinted all season he hopes to sign professionally.
The slot value for the pick is $587,400 according to MLB.com.
Sasaki is the highest draft pick selected out of high school from ‘Iolani and the highest ‘Iolani alum selected since David Masters (1985) and Mike Fetters (1986) were taken in the first round of back-to-back drafts after going to college.
Sasaki is the 17th ‘Iolani alumnus drafted overall and fourth in the last five drafts — Tanner Nishioka (2017), Pikai Winchester and Jensen Park (2015).
The Rays drafted Winchester and Punahou’s Cole Cabrera (2017) out of high school recently but both players elected to go to college.
And the Iolani Red Raiders baseball tournament didn’t even make the state baseball tournament. They had this guy, a 3rd round pick, and a state played of the year in Micah Yonamine. Been a long time since they even won the state championship.