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Montreal Signs Pepperdine's Chris Martin


Pepperdine University senior shortstop Chris Martin, selected in the second round of last week's amateur draft by the Montreal Expos, signed Tuesday. He has been assigned to West Palm Beach of the Florida State League.

Considered one of the top shortstop prospects by Baseball America, Martin was thought to be seeking a signing bonus of more than $100,000.

Martin, 22, was selected in the 25th round of last year's draft by the New York Yankees, but decided to finish his college eligibility in hopes of improving his stock.

Meanwhile, teammates Jalal Leach and Britt Craven signed contracts and have reported to their respective camps. The draft was held June 4-6.

Leach, a junior right fielder who led the Waves in hitting with a .363 average, was selected in the seventh round by the Yankees. Upset over what he considered a late selection, Leach said last week that he was considering returning to Pepperdine for his final year of eligibility.

"The Yankees came through with a good offer and Jalal was all ready to go," Pepperdine Coach Andy Lopez said. "I'm upset that we won't have him back, but I really didn't expect that we would. He's a great prospect."

Leach, 21, who attended San Marin High in Novato, Calif., is in Florida for a skills camp and will report to the Yankees team in the New York Penn League next week.

Craven, a senior right-handed pitcher, was taken in the 26th round by the Angels and has been assigned to their Class A team in Boise, Ida.

"I had almost given up hope of being drafted," said Craven, a graduate of Hawaii Prep in Honolulu. "I didn't hear from anybody until last Thursday night, so you can understand why I thought they had bypassed me. I'm just ecstatic for the chance to show what I've got."

Craven, 23, was 12-2 this season with a 3.07 earned-run average.

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