Milwaukee picks Waiakea grad Torres-Costa

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In 2012, Waiakea left-handers Quintin Torres-Costa and Kodi Medeiros provided a one-two pitching force at the HHSAA Division I baseball tournament. They combined to allow one earned run in three games to lead the Warriors to their first state championship, then went their separate ways.

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In 2012, Waiakea left-handers Quintin Torres-Costa and Kodi Medeiros provided a one-two pitching force at the HHSAA Division I baseball tournament. They combined to allow one earned run in three games to lead the Warriors to their first state championship, then went their separate ways.

If Torres-Costa so desires, he can try and reunite with his former teammate in the pros. He was selected Wednesday in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, the team that picked Medeiros in the first round last year.

“It’s kind of unreal that we were both drafted by the same team,” said Torres-Costa, who is back on the Big Island after turning around his career as a reliever at the University of Hawaii. “It’s always been my dream to play pro baseball.”

He learned of his selection when he received a congratulatory call him while he was driving home, and shortly thereafter he talked with Brewers area scout Josh Belovsky.

“(He) said I reminded them of Kodi,” Torres-Costa said, “and that I have some good pitches. I just don’t throw as hard.”

Thanks to a bounce-back performance in his redshirt sophomore season at UH, Torres-Costa is a pitcher with options just two years removed from Tommy John surgery. If he signs with the Brewers as the 1,051st overall pick he would not command anywhere near the hefty signing bonus that Medeiros received as the 12th pick in the 2014 draft out of Waiakea. Torres-Costa also can choose to return to the Rainbow Warriors to work on his Big West scoreless-innings streak and try to improve his stock in next year’s draft.

Torres-Costa, who earned all-Big West honors after not allowing an earned run in his final 23 innings and nailing down eight saves, wasn’t ready to tip his hand.

“I feel confident where I stand,” he said. “I haven’t made my decision yet.

“Kodi told me about the experience of being in the minors. I’m just glad to have the opportunity.”

It’s unclear how much money he would receive upfront from the Brewers. Hilo High graduate Jodd Carter went 11 rounds higher in last year’s draft and signed for $75,000 with the Cleveland Indians.

His local pitching coach, Gerry Meyer, doesn’t think it’s a tough decision.

“I’ve already talked to (Quintin) and I told him to go (pro),” said Meyer, who also coached Medeiros. “He’s got a lot of potential and I think he’s kind of being wasted at Manoa, to be honest.”

Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso told the Tribune-Herald two weeks ago that Torres-Costa’s next step in college was to refine a secondary pitch to complement his fastball.

Meyer said he’s been working with Torres-Costa on two additional pitches – a cutter that either dives down or to the inside and a palm ball that looks like a changeup – to go along with a fastball that has reached the low 90s.

“I owe all the credit to Coach Meyer,” Torres-Costa said.

Hawaii haul

Two teammates Torres-Costa closed for last season were selected earlier Wednesday as the 40-round three-day draft wrapped up. UH junior right-hander Tyler Brashears, who sported a 1.86 ERA in 2015, went in the 14th round to the Tampa Bay Rays, while junior right-hander LJ Brewster was taken by the Miami Marlins in the 22nd round.

“They deserve all the credit for their hard work and dedication,” Trapasso said in a UH release. “… proof that our program develops pitchers, as none of the three were drafted out of high school.”

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In all, eight players from Hawaii were drafted. On Monday, Campbell graduate Ian Kahaloa became the first player from the state to hear his name called when the Reds took the right-hander with the 145th pick. University of Kentucky junior outfielder Ka‘ai Tom, an ‘Iolani graduate, went nine picks later in the fifth round to the Cleveland Indians. …

Also on Wednesday, another ‘Iolani grad, Northern Colorado outfielder Jensen Park, went in the 32nd round to the Colorado Rockies, and the Rays took Nevada outfielder Kewby Meyer (Kamehameha-Kapalama) and ‘Iolani left-hander Kahiau Winchester in the 37th and 40th rounds, respectively.