Sports

VIBI pitcher picked in draft

Pitcher Adam Paulencu throws at Vancouver Island Baseball Institute team practice at Serauxmen Stadium this past season. Paulencu was selected Tuesday in the Major League Baseball Draft. - File photo
Pitcher Adam Paulencu throws at Vancouver Island Baseball Institute team practice at Serauxmen Stadium this past season. Paulencu was selected Tuesday in the Major League Baseball Draft.
— image credit: File photo

It’s been proven before and it’s been proven again – Serauxmen Stadium is a proving ground for the big leagues.

Vancouver Island Baseball Institute’s Adam Paulencu was chosen Tuesday in the Major League Baseball Draft, going to the San Francisco Giants in the 13th round, 417th overall. He was the fifth-highest Canadian player selected.

“I kind of knew I was going to get drafted this year and it’s just counting down the days and it finally came, and I heard my name called,” Paulencu said. “It was just really exciting, more than anything.”

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-hander from Sherwood Park, Alta. played with the VIBI Mariners the last two seasons, helping them win a national championship in 2010.

VIBI manager Jordan Blundell is proud of his player.

“He’s a great kid,” said the manager. “He had lots of talent and he came here and was able to achieve his dreams and goals.”

Leading up to the draft, Paulencu attended workouts both at San Francisco’s AT&T Park and at Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

“It was pretty amazing because we got to play on their field, obviously, where they play and there’s not a blade of grass out of place on those fields,” he said.

Paulencu threw well at both camps, even in the rain and cold in San Fran.

“I was prepared with the Nanaimo weather I put up with the last few years,” he joked.

On Tuesday, he received a phone call from the Brewers notifying him that they would choose him with their next pick. But before that news even sunk in, the Giants snapped him up.

“I was watching [the draft] with one of my buddies, he’s from San Francisco, he’s a big San Francisco Giants fan, so that was pretty cool,” Paulencu said.

The Giants told their prospect just to enjoy the moment for now, and they’ll be back in touch to talk business sometime in the next few days. Paulencu may be asked to report to a minor affiliate in Arizona or Oregon.

He’s already got the game to get himself drafted, but Paulencu said there are still ways he can become an all-around better pitcher. The fireballer said he can still throw harder, get more movement on his slider and just improve his command of all his pitches.

“[I’ll] continue to work hard and keep working harder and harder and be coachable and let them help me out and continue to be better,” he said.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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