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Grant Desme Leaving Baseball For the Priesthood

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This not a joke, but Oakland Athletics outfielder Grant Desme is leaving baseball to pursue the priesthood.

I'll say this about it: I have a lot more respect for this than I do for people who thank God for helping them make the touchdown or win the big game. Grant Desme is showing genuine courage today, doing what he thinks is the right thing no matter what the rest of the world says.

Here is the comment I wrote about Desme in the book:

Desme was drafted in the second round back in 2007, out of Cal Poly. He was very successful in college, hitting .405/.494/.733 his junior season with 12 steals and 15 homers, and I thought he deserved more attention than he received. He ended up missing almost the entire 2008 season with wrist and shoulder injuries, and was almost a forgotten man entering '09. Forgotten no more, not after hitting a combined .288/.365/.568 with 31 homers, 31 doubles, and 40 steals in 45 attempts between the Midwest and California Leagues. He actually hit better at the higher level, posting a +18 percent OPS at Kane County but boosting that to +39 percent for Stockton. He followed that up with a .315/.413/.667, 11-homer performance in the Arizona Fall League. Desme has always had good tools. He has excellent power, and while his running speed is just average, he makes great use of it on the bases. His defense needs work, but his range and arm strength will work fine in right field with more experience. The main worry here is the very high strikeout rate, which could impact his hitting against better pitching. He nails most fastballs, but scouts worry that he'll struggle against pitchers who change speeds well at higher levels. Indeed, despite his ‘09 outburst scouts still have mixed opinions about him: some thing he can turn into a major league star, while others think he could just be a role player or even a Quadruple-A guy if the strikeouts eat him up too much. Obviously it is too soon to know; we need to see him in Double-A. I've liked Desme since college and tend to be optimistic about him. I think the power and speed will carry forward, but that his batting average and OBP are going to be erratic at higher levels. He could be the kind of guy who hits .300 one year, then .230 the next, providing good power and some speed even when his other numbers are struggling. Grade B.