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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

January 22, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Top A’s prospect retires…to become a priest

desmegrant.jpg

This is a story you don’t hear every day. Grant Desme, who was just ranked as the Oakland A’s No. 8 prospect this week by Baseball America, announced his retirement today to enter the priesthood.

I think Billy Beane just uttered a phrase that begins with “holy.”

Desme is 23, an outfielder, and is coming off an excellent showing in the Arizona Fall League that earned him the AFL’s Most Valuable Player Award. He hit .315 with a league-leading 11 homers and 27 RBI in just 27 games for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. And that followed a 2009 season in Class A, split between Kane County and Stockton, in which he hit .288 with 31 homers and 40 stolen bases, with 89 RBI, in 131 games.

Desme will hold a conference call later in the day to explain his decision. This article from Baseball America provides some insight. The A’s drafted him in the second round of the 2007 draft out of Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo. The pick was compensation from the Giants for signing Barry Zito.

Beane issued this quote:

“We respect Grant’s decision and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

If this has ever happened before, I’m not aware of it. I’m very interested to hear what Desme has to say. I respect his devotion to give up a potentially lucrative career, because scouts believe he had a chance to be an impact player in the majors.

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