WAILUKU --- Recent Baldwin High School graduate Branden Kaupe was selected in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the New York Mets, 140th overall, on Tuesday.
"It is just really exciting," Kaupe said. "Everything has just been happening so fast, it is just a blessing that this could happen to me."
Kaupe was an all-state second baseman for the Bears in 2011, and is a likely candidate to be honored again at shortstop this year when the selections are announced next week.
Branden Kaupe batted .511 with two home runs and 18 RBIs in 18 games for Baldwin High School in 2012, and did not strike out.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Kaupe has signed a scholarship agreement with Central Arizona Junior College, but said he will sign with the Mets when a team representative comes to Maui next week. He is listed as shortstop on the Mets' website, but said he expects to play second base in the long run.
"They just listed me at shortstop because that is what I played my senior year," he said. "I am going to sign --- I haven't talked money yet, but that will all happen next week."
Kaupe said the Mets called before 8 a.m. HST.
"We were surprised," he said. "Lately the phone calls we have been getting from the scouts I have been projected in the sixth, seventh, eighth round. They called during the fourth and they were telling us that I may be called right now because I was on the top of their list. I was just watching it on MLB.com and when I did get called called it was just a big surprise."
Kaupe batted .511 with two home runs and 18 RBIs in 18 games for the Bears this year as they advanced to their second state Division I final in the last three seasons. He did not strike out at all in 2012. Kaupe also had three triples, five doubles and 16 stolen bases in his senior season.
Kaupe is the second-highest baseball draftee in Maui County history, behind only fellow Baldwin alumnus Kurt Suzuki, selected by the Oakland Atheltics in the second round of the 2004 draft out of Cal State Fullerton.