Pearl City alumnus Cade Halemanu drafted, agrees to terms with Tampa Bay Rays

·4 min read

Jul. 19—Cade Halemanu dealt with the anticipation of Monday's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by being alone.

Sitting in the rain at Kahala Beach watching this week's historic south swell continue to roll in, Halemanu waited until the third-to-last pick of the day to hear his name called as a 10th-round selection of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander was the 314th overall pick and the only player with Hawaii ties selected in the first two days of the draft.

He has already agreed to terms with the Rays, who he said he will speak more in-depth with once the draft is over after rounds 11-20 today. Slot value for the pick is $149, 500.

"At the beginning of this day, I'm like, 'it's a terrible day, ' but then the ball started rolling and we'll get this thing figured out and then once it happens you feel that rush of emotion, " he said.

Halemanu said he wanted to be by himself. When it was over, he drove to his parents house to celebrate with friends and family.

"Trust me, I was following (the draft ) along but not the whole time, " Halemanu said. "Dude, we were in the eighth round and I was wondering if I was going (to get picked ) but everything worked out. Everything happens for a reason."

Halemanu is the first UH player who graduated from high school in Hawaii to get drafted since Kekai Rios in 2018.

He received multiple free-agent offers after going undrafted last year but decided to return to UH where he was the 'Bows' Friday night starter for most of the season.

In 15 starts, Halemanu went 4-5 with a 4.69 ERA but was better in Big West play with a 2.68 ERA in 10 league starts.

He spent three years as a walk-on at UH before earning a scholarship prior to last season and is the seventh Pearl City alumnus to be selected in the draft and first since Chace Numata in 2010.

"I knew him somewhat, but I was super close to his brother (Chevas ), " Halemanu said. "He was my hitting coach in high school."

Chace Numata played 10 years in the minor leagues before he died from injuries suffered in a skateboarding accident in 2019.

He was a 14th-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies and one of three Chargers drafted over a two-year span. Bryson Namba was a 12th-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays and Carlton Tanabe was picked in the 24th round by the Seattle Mariners in the 2009 draft.

"Pearl City, man, we got some ballplayers, " Halemanu said.

The Rays have been active in drafting players with Hawaii ties recently. Outfielder Cole Cabrera, who was teammates with Halemanu this past season at UH, was selected by Tampa Bay out of high school in 2017 but decided to go to college at Cal Poly.

Other past picks of the Rays include Kean Wong out of Waiakea High in 2013, college players Kewby Meyer and Tyler Brashears in 2015, and Shane Sasaki out of 'Iolani in 2019.

"You couldn't ask for a better organization to go to from a pitching development (standpoint ), " Halemanu said. "From what I've heard, they want to finish up their draft and then they'll reach out and we'll figure out where I'm headed from there."

Saint Louis' Arquette likely headed to UW Baring an unexpected last-minute offer from a MLB team, recent Saint Louis graduate Aiva Arquette said Monday night he intends to play college ball at the University of Washington.

Arquette went undrafted through the first 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft after not getting an offer worthy of luring him away from playing for the Huskies for at least the next three years.

"I was flattered to have my baseball ability recognized by many major league teams in the last couple of days, however they did not get to the levels that me and my family felt were enough to bypass the college experience, " Arquette wrote in a text. "We value the life and baseball experience I will receive on the college campus to higher levels than teams were willing to meet."

Arquette, who was ranked in the top 200 in a list of draft-eligible prospects according to MLB.com, was one of two players from Hawaii who were invited to participate in the MLB Draft Combine last month in San Diego.

The other—recent Kamehameha graduate Beau Sylvester—also has yet to be selected.

The draft concludes with rounds 11-20 today starting at 8 a.m.