The Philadelphia Phillies have a new fan base in South Sound.
The Phillies drafted Centralia High School outfielder Andrew Pullin with the final pick of the fifth round – 188th overall – on Tuesday. He was the second South Sound player selected by Philadelphia in the first two days of big league baseball’s draft of amateur free agent players, which concludes today.
On Monday, the Phillies drafted Rochester resident and W.F. West High School right-hander Mitch Gueller with the 54th overall pick.
Pullin and Gueller played on rival teams for all four years of high school, but they are friends, Pullin said, and have played against each other since they were in elementary school.
Drafted players have until July 13 to decide whether to sign, but Pullin made his decision quickly. He took the Phillies’ offer and will forgo a college career at the University of Oregon. He likely will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League Phillies, the organization’s rookie league affiliate.
Pullin said the organization is interested in moving him to second base.
“It’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Pullin said. “I got the opportunity, and I took it.”
Pullin was in a class at school when he got a phone call from Rick Jacques, the Phillies’ Northwest scout, informing the 6-foot, 185-pounder that he was Philadelphia’s fifth pick of the day. Pullin casually stepped out of class.
“I didn’t want to make too big of a scene,” he said.
The draft ends today with rounds 16 through 40. Two more players from South Sound – Olympia High School shortstop Cabe Reiten and former Tenino High School standout and current University of Kentucky senior pitcher Alex Phillips – are expected to be email@example.com www.theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick