Former Cal Poly Player Leaves Baseball For Priesthood

January 23, 2010

Grant Desme Was Highly Rated Minor League Prospect

Grant Desme in his Cal Poly days (Cal Poly photo)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Former Cal Poly outfielder Grant Desme, recently invited to the Oakland A’s spring training camp, has retired from baseball in order to pursue a career as a priest.

“I was doing well at ball. But I really had to get down to the bottom of things,” the 23-year-old Desme said. “I wasn’t at peace with where I was at.”

Desme, Big West Conference Player of the Year at Cal Poly in 2007 and the only player in the minor leagues last year to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases, plans to enter St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County this summer and said he was embarking on a 10-year process to become a member of the abbey.

Desme was recently named the Arizona Fall League MVP after hitting 11 homers and 27 RBIs for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. He split the 2009 Minor League season between Class A Kane County of the Midwest League, and high Class A Stockton of the California League, combining at the two stops for 31 homers and 40 stolen bases — ranking as the Minors’ lone 30-40 man.

Desme, 23, from Bakersfield, played at Cal Poly in 2006 and 2007. He was a second-round (74th overall) draft choice of Oakland in 2007 and is a .286 hitter in three Minor League seasons with 33 home runs and 97 RBIs in 145 games.

In his two seasons at Cal Poly, Desme hit 23 home runs and drove in 86 runs. He hit .405 in 2007 with 15 home runs and 53 RBI, earning the Big West Conference’s regular season Triple Crown.

Baseball America recently rated Desme the Oakland A’s number 8 prospect.

General manager Billy Beane “was understanding and supportive,” Desme said, but the decision “sort of knocked him off his horse.” After the talk, Desme felt “a great amount of peace.”

“I love the game, but I aspire to higher things,” he said. “I know I have no regrets.”

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