EVERETT — Every professional baseball player has a vivid memory of where he was when he got the call.
For some it happened during the three-day Major League Baseball draft while for others it came after the draft as organizations look for undrafted players to round out their minor-league rosters.
Aaron Stroosma, the newest Everett AquaSox outfielder, was hosing off the deck of a fishing boat last Tuesday in the waters off the coast of Alaska when his father, Sven, a commercial fisherman, hollered at Aaron to come to the satellite phone. It was the Seattle Mariners who finally managed to contact the former Seattle University outfielder.
“I think they had tried to call me for about an hour,” said Stroosma, who made his professional debut in right field Tuesday. “I was lucky they were persistent and they were still willing after that time to take me.”
Stroosma spent four days at the Mariners’ spring training facility in Arizona where he underwent his physical, worked out and signed his contract before being told he was being sent to Everett.
It’s a virtual homecoming for Stroosma, who grew up as a Mariners fan near Big Lake in Skagit County and graduated from Sedro-Woolley High School in 2012.
“It’s been a whirlwind, but I’m happy to be here,” he said. “I’m living at home and I’m really excited to be a part of this team. … I really thankful for the opportunity and I’m just going to enjoy every day I’m out here and I think the results will take care of themselves if I’m able to do that.”
After playing two seasons at Bellevue Community College, Stroosma played his junior season at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, before redshirting his senior season after recovering from surgery. That allowed him to transfer to Seattle U where he slashed .317/.405/.438 and led the team with five home runs, 41 RBI and 71 hits, and led the WAC with 19 stolen bases.
“I can’t say enough about (Seattle U head coach) Donny Harrel, and (associate head coach) Elliott Cribby,” Stroosma said. “I wouldn’t be there without those guys either. They helped me have a great senior season and I was super thankful to be able to come back after spending two years on the East Coast and play a little closer to home.”
Stroosma’s journey may have been nomadic, but he appreciates his unique experiences at all three schools.
“Coming out of high school I was thinking (about) big facilities, but the people are what really makes it, and Seattle U right now has the right people and I can’t say enough good things about Seattle U,” he said. “We had kind of a down year, but still just the growth of each individual — they really invest in the development of players, which is something I was really looking for and I got a lot out of their offseason program and being in-season too.”
AquaSox make additional roster moves
The addition of Stroosma corresponded to two additional roster moves. First baseman Jonas Lantingua was released after the AquaSox returned from Hillsboro and pitcher Tyler Watson was promoted to Class A Clinton.
Lantingua slashed .231/.268/.359 with five doubles and three RBI in 39 at-bats. Watson was 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts through 12 innings in six appearances.
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