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Saturday, 05 May 2012 10:36

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Don't look now, but it looks like the Nitro High baseball team could have another player chosen high in the Major League First-Year Player Draft.

A whirlwind senior season for catcher Korey Dunbar might result in a selection in the top five rounds of the draft, which is set for June 4-6.

So, it's not if he'll get drafted, but where.

Dunbar was 1-for-1 with two walks in a 12-2 victory over Capital at Brandon Matthew Sneed Field on Wednesday. He's batting .444 with six home runs and 22 RBI and has only one error.

Among the scouts on hand to watch Dunbar were from the Cardinals, Nationals and Pirates.

dunbar1Later Wednesday night, the 6-foot-1 Dunbar met with a North Carolina assistant coach about potentially increasing his scholarship, which was initially about 60 percent of a full ride.

"If a school of that magnitude ups the money, they're hearing things that they might lose that player," Nitro Coach Steve Pritchard said. "My other experience is that when agents are calling, they're calling guys in the top 10 rounds, and they've been calling."

Since 2008, Nitro has had three players drafted. In 2008, left-handed pitcher Chase Pickering was chosen in the 43rd round by the Minnesota Twins. One year later, first baseman and left-handed power-hitter Matt Frazer was selected in 26th round by the Kansas City Royals. Two years ago, right-handed pitcher J.R. Bradley was taken in the second round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bradley signed, but Pickering opted to accept his scholarship to West Virginia University, as did Frazer. Pickering is finishing his college career at West Virginia State.dunbar2

"A lot of people don't know this, but the Orioles were going to take Matt Frazer in the 10th round," Pritchard said. "They called and talked to him the night before. I talked to Matt, and I think they were throwing around $125,000, and he said he wasn't going to sign."

Although interest in Dunbar has increased among Major League scouts, two teams - the Mets and Braves - have given him the most attention.

Dunbar already has mapped out a plan, although that could change in an instant.

"I don't want to think of myself as a bargaining chip and that I'll sign for 100 grand," Dunbar said.

"They're thinking, 'Hey, this kid is smart, going to North Carolina, which is a prestigious school, and goes to the College World Series every year.' That's what me and my family are thinking.

dunbar3"It's a win-win situation. That's kind of where I see myself. If I sign to play pro ball, OK, I'll sign to play pro ball.

"I told my coaches at UNC that I'm coming to UNC and they have my commitment. But, at the same time, I have to look at things.

"They understand that completely. I told them after I get drafted I want to go down there and talk to them face to face and get their feedback."

As for where he thinks he'll be drafted?

"There's not a lot of money in rounds 6-10," Dunbar said. "But, there are certain things that can happen. I told them top five, I'd have to think about it, or top 10 I'd have to see."

 

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