Last Modified: Saturday, June 08, 2013 4:56 PM
Caleb Kellogg was given a second chance and Saturday he was rewarded for making the most of it.
The former DeQuincy High School pitcher was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Saturday, putting to a close a year of ups and downs.
“This is a dream come true for me,” said Kellogg, who last month helped pitch the University of Tampa to the Division II national championship.
“Winning was great and this just tops everything,” Kellogg said. “I have always wanted to become a professional baseball player and now I have my chance.”
Kellogg was the 519th pick overall in this year’s draft, but he still has options.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior right-hander has one year of eligibility left at Tampa, so returning to school is still an option.
“You have to wait and see what happens,” said the recently turned 21-year old. “We have not talked any money yet. We will get into that later. Right now it is just exciting to be drafted.
“My goal has always been to be a professional baseball player, now you have to figure out the business side of things.”
Working through issues will be nothing new for Kellogg. He got into trouble while playing at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
According to team rules he would have had to sit out if he stayed with the Cajuns, so he decided to transfer to Tampa so he could keep playing.
“It was a tough decision but I didn’t want to sit out,” Kellogg said. “I have learned from that mistake and grown. It taught me that I had to make the most of my chances.
“I am very thankful that I got a second chance to play baseball. I know I have matured since then and am happy to have been give the opportunity to play this year at Tampa.”
Kellogg said he hoped to go around the 10th round but was happy to have been taken before the 20th.
“You got told a lot of things but you just have to sit back and wait,” Kellogg said. “You never know until you hear your named called and then it is just exciting.”
He did say that his brush with the law did play a part of his spot in the draft.
“Most people realized it was a mistake,” Kellogg said. “It is something I really learned from.”
Kellogg finished last season with a 4-1 record with a 2.52 earned run average, pitching in 23 games, all in relief. He struck out 53 and walked 13 in 36 1/3 innings of work. He worked 1 2/3 innings in the national championship game June 1.
“It has been an exciting month for us,” Kellogg said. “This really tops it.”
Before transferring to Tampa, Kellogg served two years as the closer for ULL, leading the team in saves both as a freshman and sophomore. He finished his Cajun career with a 4-4 record with 11 saves.
While at DeQuincy, Kellogg was a member of the varsity team for three years, playing as a junior in Bridge City, Texas.
Kellogg’s father John played baseball at McNeese State and was a fourth-round pick of the Montreal Expos in 1978.