Fulphilled by Phillies: Estey drafted

MCHS graduate sticks with plan to play in college, improve draft status

It's not often that someone gets to realize two lifelong dreams in the span of one week.

A mere five days after being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, Moffat County High School graduate Jerod Estey stepped onto Coors Field. Although the two events weren't directly related, they were part of a week that wrapped up Estey's prep career with all-state honors, an all-star game and his first major league offer.

"To get to play on Coors Field was amazing," Estey said. "It's so nice, it's almost fake."

After the Rockies/Royals game Sunday, Estey and 42 other Colorado seniors took the field for the Colorado Rockies High School All-Star Game.

"Not very many people stayed to watch our game," he said. "But they announced us during the Rockies game and it was a fun experience."

With limited playing time, as is the case for most all-star games, he went 2-2 with two singles in the game as an outfielder.

The same day Estey stepped onto Coors Field, the Denver Post published its list of All-Colorado baseball players. For the second year, the MCHS athlete was named to the first team. In his senior campaign, he joined five Colorado preps to be picked in the draft.

Overall, the former Bulldog was the eighth high school player taken in the draft from Colorado. The Phillies picked Estey in the 44th round with the 1,338th pick. Columbine's Tanner Rogers was the top high school player taken from the state as he went to the Florida Marlins in the seventh round. According to Estey, Rogers is the only high school player picked who plans to sign with his first team.

"For me it's a dream realized to be drafted, but without a doubt I'm going to go ahead with my plans to play at UNLV," Estey said. "I'll probably show a sign of support for the Phillies by buying a hat, but I told them I had no intentions to sign for them."

If he had signed, the 6-foot, 2-inch first baseman/pitcher would be expected to report to the rookie league in two weeks. But he said he prefers to improve his draft status with at least three years as a Rebel at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

"There's always the possibility I could get hurt," he said. "But I don't want to worry or think about that at all."

One thing he can think about is battling it out for a starting position on next year's UNLV team. The Rebel's current first baseman, Fernando Valenzuela, was taken in the 10th round by the San Diego Padres and is expected to sign. Valenzuela, the son of Hall of Fame nominated Fernando Valenzuela Sr., leaves tough shoes to fill for Estey or whoever wins the starting spot at first after being named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.

"(Going to school) is for the better so I can get my education," he said of his decision not to sign with the Phillies. "I can also improve my draft status as well as the signing bonus after proving myself at UNLV."

The rest of the summer Estey plans to work in Craig and play on an Arizona Diamondback's scout team from Denver. A team he said he would join for four tournaments.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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