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Orioles sign Cenate

July 06, 1999

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles announced Tuesday that they have signed draft selection Josh Cenate of Jefferson High School, W.Va. Terms of the deal were not announced.

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Cenate, the Herald-Mail's 1999 co-player of the year along with Keith Herbert of Boonsboro, was the first of three "sandwich picks'' that the Orioles had in this year's First Year Player Draft held last month. Cenate was the Orioles' fifth selection and 34th overall.

The 6-3, 195-pound left-handed pitcher was 13-1 with an 0.71 ERA in 15 appearances for Jefferson. He recorded 179 strikeouts and walked 21 in 89 innings while allowing 35 hits. He compiled a 34-4 record in his high school career.

Cenate was named the West Virginia Sports Writers' player of the year. He led his team to a state title, including a semifinal game in which he struck out 19.

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"We are very happy to welcome Josh to the Orioles organization,'' said Baltimore's General Manager Frank Wren. "He has a great arm and outstanding mound presence. Hard-throwing left-handed pitchers who also possess a knowledge of pitching is a rare commodity and Josh fits that description. Overall we are happy with the progress that we have made in our efforts to get our draft picks in the fold and we will continue to work towards that end.''

The Orioles have signed 25 of the 53 players they selected in the draft. Cenate and Scott Rice of California worked out at Camden Yards yesterday.

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