Switch-pitcher comes to Rays with 42nd pick
Despite rare ability, Vettleson likely to make name in outfield
ST. PETERSBURG -- Drew Vettleson, a high school outfielder/pitcher from Silverdale, Wash., became the third and final pick of the Rays on Monday, Day 1 of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
The Rays selected Vettleson with their "sandwich pick," which was the 42nd overall of the Draft.
Vettleson is also a high school player and possesses the rare ability of being able to throw right-handed and left-handed. Though he can touch 90 mph on the mound, he is known as a better outfield prospect with power potential from the left side.
"[He's] another corner power-hitting outfielder, a kid we scouted pretty good over the last year," Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison said. "He's just one of those kids where at every event where we've gone, you walk away and you go, 'Boy that guy can really hit.'
"Like an old scout once told me one time after I asked him, 'What are you looking for in a hitter?' And he said, 'Hitter's hit.' And this guy is one of those guys. And he's a unique kid. We watched him pitch with both arms."
Vettleson, 18, has good size -- 6-foot-1, 185 pounds -- and hit .490 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in his senior season at Central Kitsap High School.
As a junior in 2009, Vettleson went 4-2 with a 1.60 ERA, threw two no-hitters and had 45 strikeouts in 38 innings. He also hit .415 with five home runs and 20 RBIs and was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year.
Vettleson has signed to play at Oregon State next season.
The signing deadline for players is Monday, Aug. 16.
According to Baseball America, the three players selected by the Rays Monday night were three of the top eight high school position players in the Draft.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.