Mike Modica has never spoken to former Phillies and current Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade, but the George Mason lefthander out of Washington Township High in South Jersey feels a kinship.

Yesterday, Modica was selected for a third time by a team run by Wade in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft.

Modica, who went 11-2 this season as a senior, was drafted in the 24th round by Houston. He was the 731st overall selection.

The southpaw was first selected by the Phillies out of high school in the 45th round of the 2005 draft.

Last season, with Wade as general manager in Houston, the Astros took Modica in the 46th round.

"I don't know if Mr. Wade is the one pulling the trigger, but obviously the chances are very slim for this to happen and I owe him big-time," Modica said. "I was really happy to go and didn't want to sit around [today]."

The final 20 rounds of the 50-round draft will take place today.

Modica's George Mason teammate, all-American catcher Chris Henderson of Cherokee High, was drafted in the 21st round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, 637th overall. He is listed as a third baseman.

"They want me to be a utility player - third, first, catch, play the outfield," Henderson said. "I thought I'd go in the top 10 rounds, but I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to play professional baseball."

The New York Yankees chose Seton Hall righthander Sean Black, a junior out of Lenape High, in the seventh round with the 225th pick. In 2006, Black was drafted in the second round out of high school by the Washington Nationals.

Monmouth University junior righthander Ryan Buch (Conwell-Egan) was selected in the eighth round (253d overall) by the Chicago White Sox.

Matthew Weaver, a shortstop from Burlington County College and a graduate of Pemberton High, was selected in the ninth round by the Atlanta Braves, 268th overall.

St. John's first baseman Tim Morris (Radnor) went in the 11th round (323d overall) to Seattle.

Arizona chose Princeton senior righthander Brad Gemberling (Strath Haven) in the 24th round, 726th overall.

The Yankees picked Gloucester Catholic shortstop Steve Bruno, who began his career at St. Joseph's Prep, in the 26th round, 795th overall.

"I couldn't have gone to a better team," Bruno said.

If he does not sign with the Yankees, Bruno will accept a scholarship to the University of Virginia.