Goshen#039;s Wright drafted by L.A. Dodgers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Goshen pitcher Wesley Wright has always liked the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tuesday afternoon, he became one.

The Dodgers selected Wright with the 211th pick overall in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft Tuesday afternoon. Wright is the first high-school player taken in the draft from Pike County since Brian Meadows was taken by Florida in 1994.

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&uot;I found out around 3:25,&uot; Wright said. &uot;My adviser called first, then around 4 p.m. I heard from the Dodgers.&uot;

Wright led Goshen to the second round of the state playoffs this year. He fielded a 6-2 record with a .610 ERA. He struck out 134 batters in 58 innings.

At the plate, he was a force as well. He batted .500 with seven home runs and 29 RBI.

His most impressive asset, though, was his arm. Wright is a left-hander who reportedly throws in the 90s, and the Dodgers were short on left-handed pitchers, so the marriage was perfect.

&uot;They told me they needed strong left-handed pitchers, so they drafted several in the first few rounds,&uot; Wright said.

Wright now has a decision on his hands. He has already committed to South Alabama and has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the Jaguars. If his weekend meeting with Dodgers scout Clarence Johns does not work out the way he wants, he has the option to play in college.

Although he said he did not know what he would decide, he said he would like to start playing professional baseball as soon as possible.

&uot;I want to get my professional career started as soon as I can,&uot; Wright said.

Wright said he was happy to be drafted regardless of the team who chose him, but he has always had a special admiration for the Dodgers.

&uot;I like the tradition,&uot; he said. &uot;There’s the history of them moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

&uot;I wasn’t able to watch their games very much because they’re on the west coast, but I watched their highlights on Sportscenter.&uot;

If Wright agrees to what the Dodgers offer him this weekend, he will likely play in one of two places. The Dodgers have two rookie-league affiliates, the Ogden (Utah) Raptors and the Gulf Coast Dodgers in Vero Beach, Fla.

The Dodgers also have a single-A affiliate in Vero Beach, called the Vero Beach Dodgers, and another one in Albany, Ga., known as the South Georgia Waves.

If Wright makes his way to AA, he could play some games in his home county. The Jacksonville Suns play in the Southern League, the same league that fields the Montgomery Biscuits.