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Mariners draft Casetta-Stubbs in 11th round

King’s Way Christian pitcher says he intends to sign with Seattle organization soon

VANCOUVER — The spring of 2018 just keeps getting better for Damon Casetta-Stubbs.

A senior at King’s Way Christian, Casetta-Stubbs was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 11t round of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft Wednesday morning.

Damon Casetta-Stubbs, a senior at King’s Way Christian, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 11th round of Major League Baseball’s draft. A right-handed pitcher, Casetta-Stubbs said he intends to sign with the Mariners soon. Photo by Mike Schultz
Damon Casetta-Stubbs, a senior at King’s Way Christian, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 11th round of Major League Baseball’s draft. A right-handed pitcher, Casetta-Stubbs said he intends to sign with the Mariners soon. Photo by Mike Schultz

“This is what I wanted. When the draft started, I put on a Mariners hat. I was hoping to be picked by them,” Casetta-Stubbs said. “The way it worked out was pretty cool.”

Casetta-Stubbs said he intends to sign with the Mariners and begin his professional career as soon as possible. He and the Mariners have verbally agreed on a signing bonus of $325,000.

The 6-foot, 4-inch right-handed pitcher has a scholarship to play college baseball at Seattle University. That is no longer the plan.

“The one team I wanted to play for was the Mariners, being a hometown guy,” Casetta-Stubbs said.

Damon Casetta-Stubbs finished the 2018 high school season with 97 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 0.68. He ended his career at King’s Way Christian with 20 consecutive scoreless innings. He was drafted by the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Damon Casetta-Stubbs finished the 2018 high school season with 97 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 0.68. He ended his career at King’s Way Christian with 20 consecutive scoreless innings. He was drafted by the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Schultz

He appreciates that many of the organization’s minor league affiliates are based in the west, too.

Casetta-Stubbs was at a special breakfast for King’s Way Christian seniors when he saw on the phone that he was drafted.

“It’s something I dreamed about since I was 3 years old. To see it come true, it’s pretty cool,” he said.

“My phone has been blowing up,” he added, noting all the the contact through calls, text messages, and on social media. “It’s awesome seeing all the support.”

Pitching for the Knights this spring, Casetta-Stubbs went 6-1 with a 0.68 ERA. He had 97 strikeouts in 51.1 innings. He walked seven. He finished his high school career with three consecutive shutouts – one five-inning win in the district playoffs and two seven-inning games in the state playoffs, including in the state semifinals.

“Since I’ve been around, all the kid has done is put in the work, on and off the field,” King’s Way Christian coach Gregg Swenson said. “That mentality that he brought to the field every day, it was such a blessing to part of it. When your best player is your hardest worker, usually you have a pretty good program.”

Swenson noted that as the team’s new head coach this season, he was in the right place at the right time to be part of Casetta-Stubbs’ final season. Today’s event was years in the making with a work ethic, talent, and solid coaching before Swenson joined the program.

“He’s had great guidance. He’s had great vision,” Swenson said. “He put himself on the right path.”

Casetta-Stubbs finished his high school career with a scoreless streak of 20 innings. The Knights finished second in the Class 1A state baseball tournament, a year after winning the state championship.

He has started, either at pitcher, outfield, or first base, for every game in King’s Way Christian baseball history.

“It was pretty special for me to go to a small school and do what we did,” he said.

Now it is about the future.

“The goal is not pro baseball,” Swenson said. “The goal is the big leagues. Celebrate. Enjoy it. Now, what do I have to do to be a big leaguer?”

Casetta-Stubbs, the coach added, has the right mentality to work toward that goal.

Sure enough, Casetta-Stubbs did say that he planned on going to New Athlete later Wednesday to work on his game.

Soon, he will be a professional baseball player.

Damon Casetta-Stubbs appreciates what this day means to him, his family, and his friends at King’s Way Christian. But he also understands the work is just getting started.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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