By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
It has been a week to remember for former Lake Stevens pitcher Branden Kelliher.
Kelliher was drafted by the Oakland Athletics with the 252nd overall selection in the eighth round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 6. Just a few days later he graduated from Lake Stevens High School. He capped off the week on Thursday by agreeing to terms on his first professional contract with the A’s.
“It was unbelievable,” Kelliher said of reaching his agreement with Oakland. “I felt like more of an adult. It was like I was a kid and then all of the sudden I was completely grown up. It was kind of overwhelming, but it’s exciting.”
Kelliher flies to Arizona on Monday and must pass a team physical before officially signing his contract. Terms of the deal cannot be released until he officially signs.
“It was what we were looking for and we’re happy with what we got,” Kelliher said of the agreement.
After signing his contract Kelliher will report to the Arizona League Athletics, the A’s rookie team in Phoenix, Arizona.
Kelliher had previously committed to the University of Oregon, but his decision to sign with the A’s means college will have to wait for now.
The decision didn’t come easy.
“It was pretty tough because (the Oregon) coaches are awesome,” Kelliher said. “They’re good guys and good coaches. It was hard to tell them no.”
Being selected in the eighth round was a bit of a surprise. Kelliher had been projected to be drafted between the second and fifth round according to Baseball America. He entered the draft ranked as the No. 1 high-school baseball prospect in Washington State by Perfect Game, which also had him ranked as the 39th-best right-handed pitcher in the nation.
Seattle, Texas and St. Louis also showed interest in Kelliher leading up to his selection by the A’s.
All of the players selected in the draft have until July 18 to sign with their respective teams.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.