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Mediocrity
06-03-2003, 04:23 PM
He's a local kid. The story below is from the hometown paper.

As a H.S. pitcher I can compare him to Mike Boddicker and Cal Eldred as I saw both of them. He's more like Eldred. More power. Very good athlete, though not as fast as another local kid, Chris Trittle who the A's took a year or two ago.

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Draft day finally comes for Sweeney

By John Riehl
The Gazette
Monday, June 02, 2003, 9:37:20 PM

CEDAR RAPIDS -- Ryan Sweeney spent this past weekend in sunny Florida, but he wasn't on vacation.
He was trying to impress baseball's most storied professional franchise.

Sweeney was among a handful of players who worked out for the New York Yankees Sunday at the Yankee Complex in Tampa, Fla.

"It was awesome," Sweeney said. "They picked us up in a Yankee shuttle. We went to the field, and they had lockers for us and we were dressed in Yankees stuff.

"I hit real well."

Does that mean the Yankees will pick Sweeney today in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft? No one knows for sure, except maybe the Yankees themselves.

Sweeney, a senior all-stater at Cedar Rapids Xavier, has heard so much speculation that he's not sure which team will draft him.

The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Devil Rays have all expressed interest in the left-hander who most likely will be an outfielder in the pros.

The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals both wanted Sweeney to work out for them this past weekend, but he chose to display his talents for the Yankees.

The two-day draft begins today at noon, and Sweeney, who is ranked as the 24th-best draft prospect by Baseball America magazine, is projected as a first-round pick. No Iowa prep has ever been selected in the first round.

"Our adviser has told us different stuff, but it's not up to us," Sweeney said. "They told me different things. Like my dad said, until my name is called, I'm not believing anything."

Bob Oldis, of Iowa City, a longtime scout for the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins, expects Sweeney, 6-5, 185, to have a successful day today.

"He's got size. Heck, he looks like a professional player," Oldis said. "He's a man playing with kids right now."

Sweeney, who will follow the draft on MLB.com Radio with his family at their home in Cedar Rapids, would love to make Iowa high school history by being picked in the first round.

"It would mean a lot," said Sweeney, who has a full scholarship to San Diego State waiting if he wants it. "I hope that shows people Iowa kids can play baseball, and just because we're from Iowa, we can go high in the draft."