If you paid attention to the Arizona Fall League this season, then there’s no doubt you are familiar with Oakland A’s prospect Grant Desme.
Many of you watched Desme this fall and took note of the fact that he is one of Oakland’s top 10 prospects, according to Baseball America. You probably were hoping to be on the inside track for 2010 fantasy baseball prospects by keeping tabs on his status with the A’s through spring training. You may have even been tempted in some deeper mixed or AL-only leagues to draft the promising outfielder as a low-risk, low investment backup outfielder.
However, instead of being a top prospect to watch in 2010 fantasy baseball, Desme has other plans for his future. On Thursday, he announced that he is leaving baseball to join the priesthood.
To say that this comes as a surprise is not an understatement. A’s GM Billy Beane was “knocked off his horse” by the news.
The former A’s outfielder was the 2009 Arizona Fall League MVP, batting .315 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI in just 27 games. Last year, as a 23-year old playing in Single A, he was the minor league’s only 30-30 man, hitting .288 with 31 homers, 89 RBI and 40 steals in 131 games.
In college, he was the Big West Player of the Year while slugging for Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo.
Would he have made the big leagues in 2010? Maybe, maybe not. Other bloggers argue that Desme wasn’t a sure thing to make the majors anyway, given that he was still in Single-A at 23 and had too strong a preference to strike out.
That said, 30-30 seasons don’t come along that often. And with his performance in the AFL and a strong spring training, its likely that Desme could have passed up AA altogether, making him much more likely to make it to the Show.