Gig Harbor High School 2010 graduate Scott Schultz is fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing professional baseball.
The Oregon State University right-handed pitcher was recently selected in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft, 300th overall, by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Schultz was lounging on the couch in his Corvallis, Oregon, house with his roommate after a swim in their pool when he heard the news. The later rounds of the MLB draft aren’t broadcast on TV, but Schultz was streaming it online.
“The Diamondbacks called me and said, ‘We’re planning on taking you,’” Schultz said. “I got to see my name called; it was a cool experience.”
Schultz posted a 7-2 record with a 1.61 earned run average during his senior year, culminating with a complete game shutout in a College World Series Regionals game against UC Irvine.
“I was really just getting ahead of hitters, letting my defense make plays,” Schultz said of his last college outing. “I only had four or five strikeouts ... just letting my fastball work in the zone.”
It’s what Schultz has been doing his entire career. He finished his OSU career with a 2.42 ERA in 96 games. He went 16-5 and struck out 134 in 208 1/3 innings. Opponents batted just .212 against him. Schultz is a sinker ball pitcher and a strike thrower, with a fastball that tops out around 90-91 mph.
Schultz said the response from family and friends in Gig Harbor has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I’ve gotten a lot of support,” he said. “My whole family is in Gig Harbor, and two sets of grandparents. People back home are proud of me and I’m trying to make them proud. I know where I came from. It’s all for my team. I’m really just working hard for the people that support me.”
All for my team, or “AM4T,” is Schultz’s motto, something he has written on his glove and his cleats.
“It just reminds you that you have all this support, (so) what’s a little hard work going to do in the long run?” Schultz said.
Schultz was also drafted last year by Miami, but opted to return for his senior season and finish school. The end is in sight, as Schultz has a few more credits to earn before earning his degree in pre-therapy. Schultz signed with the Diamondbacks last week and is now playing with the Hillsboro Hops in Oregon, a short-season Single-A team.
Schultz’s role with the team hasn’t yet been defined, but he will likely be a starting pitcher. If everything goes smoothly, he hopes to climb the ladder quickly.
“Next year, I’ll probably have the opportunity to move up,” Schultz said. “I’m just playing the game, enjoying it. Hopefully things go well.”
Schultz is happy for the opportunity to represent the Gig Harbor community as a professional baseball player.
“It’s awesome,” Schultz said. “It’s a great place to grow up. I still have a bunch of friends and family there. It’s always nice to go back home and just enjoy the harbor. It’s a unique place to grow up. I’m always bragging about the Puget Sound. I’ve got a lot of close friends out there.”