Jake Lemmerman and Matt Hauser played baseball together at Corona del Mar High four years ago and dreamed of playing in the big leagues one day.
The former Sea Kings on Tuesday learned their dream is closer to becoming a reality. On the second day of baseball's amateur draft, Lemmerman and Hauser heard their names called.
Lemmerman, a junior shortstop from Duke University, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth round as the 172nd overall pick. The 2007 CdM graduate is going to the organization he grew up rooting for all his life.
The Minnesota Twins selected Hauser, a senior right-handed pitcher from the University of San Diego as the 225th pick in the seventh round.
The 2006 CdM graduate is now a Twins fan because they are allowing him to continue his baseball career.
Lemmerman and Hauser were two of eight local players chosen on the second day of the draft. The others were from UC Irvine, pitcher Danny Bibona (eighth round, St. Louis Cardinals), outfielder Ryan Fisher (15th, Florida Marlins), first baseman Jeff Cusick (18th, Philadelphia Phillies), catcher Francis Larson (22nd, Los Angeles Angels) pitcher Christian Bergman (24th, Colorado Rockies) and second baseman Casey Stevenson (25th, New York Yankees).
Lemmerman and Hauser were not only the highest drafted local players on Tuesday, they are also the highest players taken in the draft during CdM Coach John Emme's 13 years.
Once the news hit, Emme relayed it to the rest of the Sea King baseball family. Emme used a new forum to spread the word about the fourth and fifth players he's coached at CdM get drafted.
On Emme's facebook status, it read: "Congrats to Jake Lemmerman '07 [5th round Dodgers] and Matt Hauser '06 [7th round Twins] who were both taken in today's Major League Baseball Draft."
For Emme, it was much easier to post the information online than call the hundreds of players he's guided at CdM.
Emme's cell phone rang all day. One call Emme said he took was from a major-league scout, who predicted Lemmerman would go in the fifth round.
When it happened, Emme understood why Lemmerman was an attractive pick. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder posted impressive numbers, leading Duke in batting average (.335), hits (73), home runs (11), runs batted in (45), slugging percentage (.569), walks (28) and on-base percentage (.418). He was strong defensively, making him the top shortstop in the Atlantic Coast Conference after finishing with a .987 fielding percentage (three errors in 227 chances).
The surprise to Emme was Hauser going so early in the draft. Hauser said he felt the same way.
Hauser and a couple of his teammates followed the draft online while in San Diego. Hauser expected two Toreros pitchers to get picked right away, and sophomore left-hander Sammy Solis and right-hander Kyle Blair went in the second and fourth rounds to the Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians, respectively.
"We didn't know who was going to go next [from our team]," said Hauser, who was one of eight Toreros drafted Tuesday. "I thought I was going to go anywhere from the 15th round to the 25th."
Hauser's belief grew stronger when a Twins scout called him in the seventh round.
"He just said, 'We're thinking about taking you in the later rounds,' " Hauser said. "I hung up the phone and then a couple of minutes later I heard my name called during the draft.
"It still hasn't really hit me."
Hauser's path to Tuesday was different from Lemmerman's.
At CdM, Emme called Lemmerman the total package. He received numerous accolades, from making first-team All-CIF Southern Section Division III, to becoming the Pacific Coast League Player of the Year.
The two-time Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year went to Durham, N.C. to build a program.
Hauser went to Orange Coast College to build his frame and arm. During two years with the Pirates, Hauser grew two inches, gained 15 pounds and his fastball jumped from the low 80s to the mid 80s on the radar gun.
Down south is where Hauser said he truly developed. This season, he went 4-3 with a 3.67 earned-run average and eight saves. In 41 2/3 innings in relief, Hauser struck out 37 and walked just nine.
"He was a lanky kid [at CdM], but now he's a big stud," Emme said of the 6-2, 195-pound Hauser. "He added 10 miles per hour on his fastball. That helps."
Two others things helping Hauser, beside a 95-mph fastball, are qualities Emme said both Hauser and Lemmerman possess.
"They're the same type of kid, tireless worker and extremely coachable," said Emme, who believes Lemmerman and Hauser will be the first two players he's coached at CdM to make the big leagues.