Cam Nobles expected Tuesday to be one of the best days of his life.
It turned out to be one of the worst.
The Jackson High School senior was projected as a fourth- or fifth-round pick in the 2006 Major League Baseball draft. But Nobles, a right-handed pitcher who was 10-0 with a 0.71 earned-run average this spring, wasn’t selected on the draft’s first day, which covered 18 rounds.
The disappointing result stunned Nobles.
“Kids have to go through that every year, and I just didn’t think it was going to be me,” said Nobles, a University of Washington recruit who helped Jackson to an undefeated season and the Class 4A state championship this spring.
Nobles, who struck out 99 batters in 59 innings as a senior, got word from his adviser on Tuesday that the Philadelphia Phillies would select him with their fifth-round pick, 157th overall. But as Nobles gathered around a computer with family and friends in Mill Creek and waited for his name to pop up on an Internet webcast, the Phillies picked someone else.
As the draft rolled on – all 556 day-one picks – Nobles said he felt frustration, anger and disbelief.
“I wasn’t able to sleep (Tuesday) night,” he said. “All that hard work – I (worried) it was for nothing.”
But after an unnerving, confusing day, Nobles’ fortunes changed Wednesday.
The Seattle Mariners picked Nobles in the 19th round (No. 561 overall), and the Jackson pitcher said he could end up with a better signing bonus than the Phillies would have offered on Tuesday. Nobles’ adviser is negotiating with the M’s and, despite his slide in the draft, Nobles said he hopes to receive fourth- or fifth-round money. Based on previous draft trends, that could be several hundred thousand dollars.
“Today was a new day,” Nobles said, “and it turned out for the best. … It’s just about the opportunity to play (professional) baseball.
“Everything worked out for the best after one of the worst days of my life. In the end, it only took a day to turn it around.”
Nobles can’t sign a contract until after June 17, when he graduates from high school. The Mariners retain Nobles’ draft rights until he begins classes at Washington.
Nobles was one of six players with Snohomish County selected on the second day of the draft. The others included:
* Edmonds Community College catcher Tyler Hauschild, a sophomore from Vancouver, B.C., who was taken in the 28th round by Cincinnati.
* Everett Community College outfielder Pat Allen, a Jackson High graduate, who was taken in the 35th round by Houston. Allen batted .441 for the Trojans this season.
* Tyler Mach, a third baseman from Oklahoma State, who was taken in the 40th round by St. Louis. Mach spent his freshman season at the University of Washington and his sophomore year at Edmonds Community College. He hit .364 with 16 home runs and 66 RBI for the Cowboys this season.
* Oregon State sophomore catcher Mitch Canham of Lake Stevens, who was picked in the 41st round by St Louis. Canham hit .289 with five triples, seven home runs and 44 RBI for the Beavers.
* Kyle Johnson, a pitcher for Chapman University in California, who was selected by the New York Mets in the 46th round. Johnson is a graduate of Kamiak High School.
Also, pitcher Mason Tobin of Western Nevada Community College, was picked in the 45th round by Atlanta. Tobin is on the roster of the Everett Merchants summer-league team.
In addition, three University of Washington athletes – as well as the Huskies’ prized football recruit – also were selected. The most interesting pick was Huskies quarterback Isaiah Stanback, who was chosen in the 45th round by the Baltimore Orioles. Stanback, a senior-to-be who is expected to be the UW’s starter for the second straight season this fall, has not played baseball since he was at Garfield High School.
Star incoming recruit Jake Locker, who is expected to succeed Stanback at quarterback in 2007, was taken in the 40th round by the Los Angeles Angels. Locker, who led Ferndale to the Class 3A state football title last season, was considered a top baseball prospect but fell in the draft because he told teams he would honor his commitment to play football at Washington.
UW pitchers Richie Lentz of Woodinville (19th round, Boston) and Kyle Parker of Yakima (24th round, Seattle), also were picked.