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Lopes signs with Seattle

Prep Roundup

Edison High standout, who had committed to UC Irvine, was drafted in the sixth round by Mariners in First-Year Player Draft in early June.

June 20, 2012|By Mike Sciacca

Timmy Lopes, who graduated from Edison High last week, has signed with the Seattle Mariners.

Lopes was taken in the sixth round (No. 191 overall) June 5 by the Mariners in the Major League First-Year Player Draft. Lopes previously had been a UC Irvine baseball signee. He was one of three Anteater signees to sign a professional contract. Pitchers Andrew Potter and Kevin Grendell signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles, respectively.

Earlier this month, Lopes had been named the Most Valuable Player in the Sunset League. He said he signed with the Mariners on June 12. Two days later, the 17-year-old, who turns 18 Sunday. graduated from Edison.

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"I couldn't be more happy with where I am," Lopes said. "It was not an easy decision. It was a family based decision. Coach (Mike) Gillespie is an amazing coach [who[ runs a really great program at UCI, and I was blessed enough to be signed with them.

"I wasn't sure of which decision to make, but to see how God has worked in my life, it helped me, my family, with this decision. It was really tough but now I'm here in Arizona, playing pro baseball. It's a dream come true for me."

Lopes reported to training camp Saturday with the Peoria Mariners at Peoria, Ariz. Arizona League (rookie) play started Wednesday and runs through Aug. 29.

"What can you say about Timmy Lopes?," Steve Lambright said. "He hit, he fielded and pitched for us. Without him, we don't make the (CIF) playoffs. He is one of the best athletic baseball players that I have coached in 18 years.

"He has worked very hard at his skills and deserves all the recognition he is getting. He will be successful at the next level."

Lopes is the sixth Edison player to be drafted since 2008 and the fifth Charger to be selected in the last two MLB drafts. His older brother, Christian, a shortstop/second baseman, was drafted last year in the seventh round and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. Also last year, pitcher Henry Owens was a first-round pick and signed with the Boston Red Sox. Owens is the highest draft pick to come out of Edison, Lambright said.

Timmy Lopes was one of three Chargers drafted earlier this month. Former Edison players Kurt Heyer, an ace pitcher for University of Arizona, was selected in the sixth round by theSt. Louis Cardinals. Nic Hanson, a pitcher at Golden West College, was taken in the 16th round by the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 2008, catcher Kyle Higashioka was taken in the seventh round by the New York Yankees.

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