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Central Kitsap's Drew Vettleson selected No. 42 overall in Major League Draft
When Bill Baxter's phone rang Monday and the voice of a pro scout calling from Florida came over the line, the Central Kitsap High School baseball coach had a hunch.
The Major League Baseball scout didn't specify on whose behalf he was calling, only that he was in Florida, and he peppered Baxter with questions about the character of Central Kitsap senior baseball star Drew Vettleson.
They talked for about 25 minutes.
"He might go to one of the Florida teams," Baxter told the Central Kitsap Reporter less than an hour before the Tampa Bay Rays selected Vettleson with the No. 42 overall pick of the 2010 Major League Draft.
The second-round selection was right around where scouts and experts projected the senior would be drafted. Some reports had him being selected as high as No. 28, to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he slid to the second round.
He is the second Central Kitsap player in school history to go pro, Baxter said, the other being 1998 grad Todd Linden, who was picked No. 41 by the San Francisco Giants in the 2001 draft. Linden’s career never got off the ground and he bounced around from team to team, eventually going to Japan.
Vettleson led Central Kitsap in nearly every offensive statistical category during the regular season in 2010, hitting .490 to go with seven home runs and 29 RBI. He also was the team's top pitcher, posting a 1.35 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 32 walks.
The Cougars advanced to the Class 4A state tournament each season Vettleson was on the team, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2008.
Now, the star faces a huge decision: Go pro, or go to college?
"I think if he goes high enough he will probably lean toward going," Baxter said. "He's in a nice position because he has a backup plan."
Vettleson has committed to Oregon State University, a baseball powerhouse. The ambidextrous slugger has said for months he could go either way, saying it depends on the circumstance. He wasn't immediately available for comment Monday.
Tampa Bay is currently in first place in the American League East with a 37-20 record, ahead of the New York Yankees (35-22) and Boston Red Sox (34-25). Vettleson was the state's Gatorade Player of the Year as both a junior and senior. He also was named the Narrows League Most Valuable Player in 2009 and 2010.