The 2009 season was a breakthrough campaign for Oakland A's prospect Grant Desme. It may turn out to be his last season as a baseball player. Desme, who was the only player in all of professional baseball to hit 30 homers and steal at least 40 bases in 2009, has reportedly retired to pursue a career in the priesthood. It was first reported on FoxSports.com.
Desme was the A's second round pick in 2007 out of Cal Poly. He missed the 2008 season with wrist and shoulder injuries, but quickly made up for lost time with a standout 2009 season. He began the year at Low-A Kane County and hit .274 with 11 homers, 24 stolen bases and an 825 OPS in 69 games. After a mid-season promotion to High-A Stockton, Desme's season really took off. He hit .304 with 20 homers and 16 stolen bases. Desme's OPS with the Ports was 1054. Overall, Desme hit .288 with 31 homers, 40 stolen bases and a 933 OPS in 131 games.
He extended his prospect stature even more at the Arizona Fall League, where he was named the league's MVP. In 27 games for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, Desme hit .315 with 11 homers.
Scout.com named Desme the A's eighth-best prospect going into the 2010 campaign. He had been invited by the A's to his first big league spring training and was considered one of Oakland's top outfield prospects. The A's traded two outfielders last week - Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston - although outfield is still an area of depth for Oakland. Desme's departure is a blow to the strength of the A's farm system, however, as he was one of the team's top power prospects and one of the system's best defensive outfielders.
Desme's leadership skills were admired by the A's front office and coaching staff. 2009 Kane County manager Steve Scarsone told OaklandClubhouse.com that Desme "...not only did some great things on the field, but he proved to fill that mature leader role on our team."
"Not so much the guy who was yelling and screaming and telling people what to do and what not to do, but more of a guy who played hard everyday and gave his maximum effort," Scarsone said.
"Some of the younger guys were able to feed off of him. That is an important aspect of a player. It's not necessarily teachable. It's just something that he naturally has."
Top Prospect Desme Retires
Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories
Oakland A's MLN: Gray rehabs, Chapman returnsSonny Gray looked like an ace in his rehab start with the Stockton Ports. Meanwhile in Nashville, third base prospect Matt Chapman returned from a wrist injury.
Oakland ClubhouseYesterday at 9:05 PM
Daulton Jefferies to have Tommy John surgeryOakland A's prospect Daulton Jefferies will have Tommy John surgery.
Oakland ClubhouseThursday at 1:47 PM
A's tap Valdez to start on ThursdayCesar Valdez will start for the Oakland A's on Thursday, taking Kendall Graveman's spot in the rotation.
Oakland ClubhouseThursday at 12:08 PM
Beloit Photo Gallery: Snappers clip CougarsGENEVA, IL -- The Beloit Snappers defeated the Kane County Cougars, 6-5, on Tuesday afternoon on the road. David Malamut has photos from the game.
Oakland ClubhouseWednesday at 9:01 AM