By Scott M. Johnson For The Weekly Herald
Meadowdale graduate Chase Anselment was one of a number of players with local ties to be selected the third and final day of the Major League Baseball draft.
Anselment, a University of Washington catcher/outfielder, was chosen by the Atlanta Braves in the 17th round. The junior from Edmonds said he plans to sign a contract and give up his final year of eligibility, even though he’s still a year and one quarter away from graduating from UW.
“It’s kind of time for me to move on,” Anselment said, “to somewhere I can catch every day. For those of us who don’t enter (professional baseball) out of high school, you typically want to go three years just to mature – and I feel like I’ve done that. I’m ready for the next step.”
Anselment led the Huskies with a .325 batting average this season, which was his first while playing catcher as his primary position. He spent last summer playing in the Cape Cod League in an effort to show scouts that he had improved as a catcher.
In a rare stroke of coincidence, Anselment was chosen one pick after University of Portland junior pitcher Chris Johnson – a fellow Meadowdale High product who began playing baseball with Anselment when they were 11 years old. Johnson, a junior right-hander, told the UP website that he plans on signing with the San Francisco Giants and giving up his final year of eligibility.
UP teammate Owen Jones, a senior relief pitcher who went to Edmonds-Woodway High School, was a 19th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Also getting the call were Lake Stevens High School teammates Dylan LaVelle (18th round, Detroit) and Jake Nelson (26th round, Boston) and Edmonds Community College teammates Aaron Brooks (26th round, Mariners) and Taylor Smith-Brennan (37th round, Milwaukee). Smith-Brennan joined Anselment and Johnson to give Meadowdale High three draft picks.
A total of 11 players with Snohomish County ties were picked in this draft. Washington State outfielder Derek Jones (Snohomish High School), Everett Community College pitcher Keone Kela and Liberty University’s Ian Parmley (Monroe High School) were selected earlier in the draft.