Oakland A’s prospect Grant Desme is going from Arizona Fall League MVP to the next Billy Sunday. He’s giving up the church of baseball for the priesthood.
Desme had a breakout year in 2009. Playing for the Midwest League’s Kane County Cougars and California League’s Stockton Ports, he hit 31 homeruns, stole 40 bases to go along with his .288 batting average.
Last fall, the A’s had good words to say about Desme potential:
“If he keeps putting up these kinds of numbers, it’d be hard not to bring him in [to Spring Training],” Keith Lieppman, A’s director of player development, told MLB.com in October. “There’s a lot of good things happening with him right now. At this stage, he looks like the complete package.”
Now A’s GM Billy Beane has nothing to do but to accept the inevitable. “We respect Grant’s decision and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” he grumbled.
According to the Huffington Post, Desme is quoted in 2007 as saying, “above all, my faith comes first and I dedicate myself to church.” Now, we’re seeing just how dedicated he really is. Desme will plan to enter a Catholic seminary and and says it will be a 10-year process and likens it to “re-entering the minor leagues.”
Oakland can tell themselves that they probably get along without Grant Desme (the California League is a hitters league, right?). Most likely, Desme would have been trade bait anyway.
Regardless, he would have been a player to watch. It wasn’t an easy decision for Desme to make, I’m sure.