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Swafford Takes the Bucs Over Northwestern


Derek Swafford wondered if he would have to choose. The answer came sooner than he expected.

The Ventura High senior, a standout in baseball and football, signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday after being selected a day earlier in the third round of the amateur draft. Swafford accepted a total package of about $200,000 from the Pirates, meaning he will forgo a full scholarship to play football for Northwestern.

"I wasn't sure how high I was going to be drafted," Swafford, 18, said. "I told myself I would decide (between baseball and football) depending on how high I was drafted in baseball. I feel pretty good about where I was taken."

Swafford, a second baseman, said he received a $114,000 signing bonus in a total package worth about $200,000. The Pirates have guaranteed to pay for Swafford's education.

"I told the people at Northwestern and they weren't too happy about it," Swafford said.

Swafford batted .333 and stole 18 bases. He was selected to The Times' 1992 All-Ventura County football team after rushing for 1,193 yards in 124 carries (9.6-yard average) and 24 touchdowns.

Two sons of former major leaguers were among area players drafted. El Camino Real High shortstop Dan Cey, the son of former Dodger Ron Cey, was taken in the 20th round by the San Diego Padres a day after helping the Conquistadores to the City Section 4-A title.

Mission College outfielder Gary Matthews, son of the former major leaguer by the same name, was drafted by the Padres in the 13th round Thursday.

Other area players selected include: Northwestern and former St. Francis High shortstop Mark Loretta (Milwaukee Brewers, seventh round), Taft utility player Stacy Kleiner (Padres, 10th), Glendale College and former Kennedy High pitcher Mike McMullen (San Francisco Giants, 14th), Simi Valley catcher Kevin Nykoluk (Montreal Expos, 20th), Cal State Northridge and former Thousand Oaks High pitcher John Bushart (Angels, 24th), USC and former Hart High catcher Casey Burrill (Atlanta Braves, 27th), CS Northridge third baseman Andy Small (Florida Marlins, 27th), Simi Valley pitcher Trevor Leppard (Pirates, 29th) Crespi catcher Casey Snow (Angels, 30th) and Kennedy first baseman Jeff Tagliaferri (Giants, 38th).

The draft concludes today.

Matthews batted .320 with two home runs and 22 runs batted in this season. He had been selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 38th round last year as a Granada Hills High senior. Cey, who batted .443 with six home runs and 46 RBIs, has signed a letter of intent to play at California. Bushart (10-4, 4.38 earned-run average) impressed scouts earlier this season, but tendinitis in his left (throwing) shoulder lessened his effectiveness the past seven weeks. A magnetic resonance imaging examination earlier this week revealed no muscle tear. "I'm relieved and excited," said Bushart, a junior.

Northridge catcher Mike Sims, a 14th-round pick of the Marlins, signed Friday and will play for the Elmira (N.Y.) Pioneers of the Class-A New York-Penn League.


Times staff writers Fernando Dominguez, Jeff Fletcher and Theresa Munoz contributed to this story.

Area Players Taken in Amateur Baseball Draft

Player Pos School ML Team Jeff Suppan RHP Crespi HS Red Sox Nate Dishington C Hoover HS Cardinals Brad Fullmer IF Montclair Prep Expos David Lamb SS Newbury Park HS Orioles Ryan McGuire 1B UCLA; El Camino Real HS Red Sox Andrew Lorraine LHP Stanford; Hart HS Angels Mark Loretta SS Northwestern, St. Francis HS Brewers Stacy Kleiner UT Taft HS Padres Bryan Corey SS Pierce; Thousand Oaks HS Tigers Steve Soliz C CS Los Angeles; Rio Mesa HS Indians Gary Matthews OF-2B Mission College; Gran. Hills HS Padres Mike McMullen RHP Glendale College; Kennedy HS Giants Roland De La Maza RHP CS Sacramento; St. Gen. HS Indians Mike Sims C CS Northridge; Alemany HS Marlins Dan Cey SS El Camino Real HS Padres Kevin Nykoluk C Simi Valley HS Expos John Bushart LHP CS Northridge; Thou. Oaks HS Angels Casey Burrill C USC; Hart HS Braves Andy Small 3B CS Northridge Marlins Trevor Leppard RHP Simi Valley HS Pirates Sam Minyard P The Master's Marlins Casey Snow C Crespi HS Angels Jeff Tagliaferri 1B Kennedy HS Giants

Player Rd* Jeff Suppan 2nd Nate Dishington 2nd Brad Fullmer 2nd David Lamb 2nd Ryan McGuire 3rd Andrew Lorraine 4th Mark Loretta 7th Stacy Kleiner 10th Bryan Corey 12th Steve Soliz 13th Gary Matthews 13th Mike McMullen 14th Roland De La Maza 14th Mike Sims 14th Dan Cey 20th Kevin Nykoluk 20th John Bushart 24th Casey Burrill 27th Andy Small 27th Trevor Leppard 29th Sam Minyard 29th Casey Snow 30th Jeff Tagliaferri 38th

* Major league baseball releases draft order for only the first round. Round information was supplied by the players.

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