Edmonds baseball player drafted by Yankees
Life is about to look a lot different for an Edmonds baseball player, though his main focus will remain the same – baseball.
The New York Yankees drafted Edmonds native Derek Callahan last weekend, selected in the 16th round by the team in pinstripes.
Callahan, a pitcher who has spent the last three years playing at Gonzaga University, graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School in 2011.
He said he was at home with his family watching the draft on MLB.com when he got a call from the Yankees, who said they planned to select him.
“It was a little bit of a shock,” he said. “After I got off the phone, not a minute later they announced it. It’s pretty crazy, everybody was yelling and cheering.”
Even days later, he said he wasn’t sure the news had fully hit him yet.
“It’s taken a couple of days to sink in, in fact I’m not sure it really has yet,” said the pitcher. “It’s been my dream to play professionally – it’s every kids dream and for it to be the Yankees is the cherry on top.”
If the news hadn’t fully hit him yet, it was about to become reality, as Callahan prepared to head East to meet with the Yankees and finalize his contract. Last week, Callahan said his agent and the team were finalizing the deal, and he was heading to Florida.
“If the contract numbers are right, I’ve decided I’ll turn pro,” he said. Though Callahan is just two semesters shy of graduating from Gonzaga, he said he plans to someday go back to school and get his degree.
If everything goes smoothly with physicals and the contract, Callahan said he’d go to Staten Island for the team’s summer league, where he’ll rejoin former teammate Austin Jones.
Jones, who was drafted by the Yankees straight out of high school in 2011, also went to Edmonds-Woodway and the two played little league and high school baseball together.
For Callahan, getting to play in college helped him enormously.
“I matured a lot in college,” he said. “I didn’t have as great of numbers as I wanted, but it really helped me grow. Coming out of high school, even to college, there is a big learning curve.”
Callahan, playing six games at Gonzaga during his junior year and started in three, was 0-3 with a 12.12 ERA and pitched 16.1 innings. During the West Coast Summer League, Callahan was 8-2 with a 2.25 ERA, striking out 62 with 24 walks in 76 innings.
Though he admitted to being a Mariner’s fan as a kid, Callahan said he’s paid more attention to the Yankess after Jones was drafted.
“Since he was drafted by the Yankees, I’ve been following them a lot more,” he said.
Callahan said his goal is to become more consistent.
“I want to get better in all aspects of my game,” he said. “The biggest different between college and the pros is consistency, they are consist every time.”
Callahan was one of two Gonzaga players drafted this spring. Incoming freshman Gage Burland from East Valley High School in Spkane was also drafted.