Sports

VIBI grad gets drafted again

Former VIBI pitcher Adam Paulencu is again a big-league prospect after being chosen in the Major League Baseball draft. - File photo
Former VIBI pitcher Adam Paulencu is again a big-league prospect after being chosen in the Major League Baseball draft.
— image credit: File photo

Former VIBI Mariners standout Adam Paulencu has a new pitcher’s mound to try to ascend.

Paulencu was chosen by the Colorado Rockies in this week’s Major League Baseball draft in the 26th round, 798th overall.

The Rockies play at Denver’s Coors Field, a home-run-happy park that doesn’t make things easy on pitchers.

“That’s a good problem to have, is worrying about what MLB ballpark you’re playing in – that’s one I’d like to have one day,” Paulencu joked.

The pitcher is in high spirits these days after being drafted for a second year in a row. Last June the San Francisco Giants selected the hard-throwing right-hander, but his physical revealed tendonitis and they didn’t sign him.

“It was definitely a big blow,” he said.

The injury actually kept Paulencu off the mound for six months before he finally resumed throwing in December. By January all his velocity was back, and in recent weeks he helped his college team, the Embry-Riddle Eagles, make it to the NAIA World Series. He was selected an all-star after an 8-3 season in which he posted a 2.86 earned-run average in 94 1/3 innings.

“My results this year have been a lot better,” he said. “I’ve been going deeper into ball games and realy doing a good job of getting ahead of batters.”

So he fully expected to be chosen as a re-draft this past week.

“Just from the fact that I was selected last year and I actually got better this year.”

He’s in the process of coming to terms on a contract with the Rockies, and then expects to report to one of the organization’s minor league affiliates, either the Grand Junction Rockies in Colorado or the Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco, Wash.

In the meantime he’s keeping sharp throwing with the Swift Current Indians summer ball team in Saskatchewan, playing with and against old teammates from the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute.

For Paulencu, being drafted changes everything, but at the same, it doesn’t change anything.

“It’s the same game I’ve played my whole life,” he said.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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