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Greenwich's Taylor Olmstead Weighs Pro, College Baseball Options

Greenwich High senior Taylor Olmstead has a baseball decision to make in the next couple weeks: go pro in the Texas Rangers system or play for the University of Connecticut.
Greenwich High senior Taylor Olmstead has a baseball decision to make in the next couple weeks: go pro in the Texas Rangers system or play for the University of Connecticut. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich High senior Taylor Olmstead had a memorable Saturday. He went to his senior prom -- and got drafted by the Texas Rangers.

Although Olmstead is currently committed to the University of Connecticut, the chance to go pro suddenly became a real option for him. He was selected with 400th overall pick in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft Saturday.

Scouts from the Rangers and the San Francisco Giants watched Olmstead at several Greenwich High games during the year and told him he might have a shot at getting picked in the later rounds.

On the last of three days of the draft, Olmstead and his family were at home, gathered around the computer. They watched the live feed of draft picks on MLB.com and expected to be in for a long day, with the draft going 40 rounds.

When Olmstead's name came up a lot earlier than anyone expected, he and his family were stunned with excitement.

"I thought I had a shot, but I didn't know I'd go that early," he said. "It was just amazing to see. It was a great experience and something I'll always remember. It's a great honor."

Olmstead became just the fourth baseball player to be drafted right out of Greenwich High School since the amateur draft began in 1965. He is the first Cardinal to be taken out of high school since the Toronto Blue Jays selected Justin Valente in the eighth round of the 1998 draft.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound outfielder has a decision to make in the next couple weeks: sign a contract with the Rangers and report to their Rookie-level team in Surprise, Ariz., or stick with his original plan of playing for rising Division I baseball power UConn.

But for a few days, Olmstead is savoring the moment.

"I'm just letting it sink in," he said. "I'm going to meet with [UConn's] Coach Penders this week, and we're going to talk. Either way, it's a good position to be in and I'm thankful for it.

To help make his decision, Olmstead has a great source of advice in his corner. His Legion baseball head coach Mike Abate, who has coached Olmstead for four years, was drafted out of high school by the Anaheim Angels in 1996.

"I was in awe," Abate said of the moment he found out Olmstead was drafted. "Seeing where he was to where he is now is very exciting to see his progression on and off the field. He's got very projectable skills and body frame. I think the sky's the limit for him."

Olmstead is a two-time all-conference and all-state baseball player as well as an all-conference and all-state defenseman in football.

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