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Twins Pick OU's Redman In First Round of Draft

Oklahoman Published: June 2, 1995

OMAHA, Neb. - Oklahoma junior left-hander Mark Redman made a 40-round jump in the amateur baseball draft.

As a senior in high school three years ago, Redman was selected in the 41st round by the Detroit Tigers.

Early Thursday afternoon, he was selected in the first round by the Minnesota Twins, the 13th pick overall.

Consistency, superb control and the ability to throw a fastball in the low 90s improved Redman's worth, making him the first OU player to be drafted in the first round since right-handed pitcher Jack Armstrong in 1987.

"They were my favorite team when I was younger," the 21-year-old Redman said of the Twins. "They've been with me ever since last January, asking questions and keeping an eye on me. Now, it's just a matter of signing. " Is Redman (15-2; 2.16 ERA) signable?

"Oh, yeah," he said without hesitation.

There is one drawback, however. The American League uses a designated hitter.

"Too bad it's not a National League team so I could bat," Redman said with a chuckle.

- California made Nebraska outfielder Darin Erstad the first pick in Thursday's draft.

Erstad, who was the punter for national champion Nebraska, hit .410 in 57 games for the Cornhuskers this year with 20 doubles, 19 homers, 76 RBIs and 11 steals.

Erstad, drafted by the New York Mets three years ago after he finished high school, has two years of football eligibility remaining, but probably won't kick again.

Thirteen players in the first round were taken from colleges and 14 from high schools. Thirteen were pitchers.

Teams will continue drafting through Saturday. The rest of the draft probably will be released June 12. The delay is to prevent college coaches from using the draft list as a recruiting tool.

San Diego used the second pick on Ben Davis, an 18-year-old catcher at Malvern Prep outside Philadelphia. Davis, a switch-hitter, is batting .507 with six homers and 37 RBIs in 71 at-bats.

Jose Cruz Jr., a 21-year-old outfielder from Rice who is a son of former major leaguer Jose Cruz, went to Seattle on the third pick. Cruz hit .377 with 16 homers and 76 RBIs in 223 at-bats for the Owls.

Texas used the No. 7 pick to select Florida State right-hander Jonathan Johnson, who is 11-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 125 innings for the Seminoles. He is scheduled to pitch today against Oklahoma in the College World Series opener.

Former Midwest City star A.J. Hinch, who was projected as a potential overall first pick last fall before rumors of a sore shoulder made his stock drop, went in the late second or early third round to Minnesota.

Like Redman, Hinch, a junior catcher at Stanford, is in Omaha preparing for the College World Series. He'll enter Saturday's opener with California State Fullerton batting .369 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs.

The 1992 Gatorade Circle of Champions national prep baseball Player of the Year also is considered by several scouts to be the finest defensive catcher in the nation.

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