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Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Recent Monarch graduate Logan Soole has signed a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

After just a few days of deliberations, the choice was clear for Logan Soole.

The time had come to begin his pro career.

Three days after getting selected in the 23rd round (676th overall) in the Major League Baseball draft, Soole opted to sign a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Soole has reported to the club’s facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., for a week-long player assessment and orientation program.

From there, Soole will be assigned to one of the club’s low-level affiliates, possibly the Missoula Osprey of the short-season Pioneer League or the club’s franchise in the rookie-level Arizona League.

Less than a month ago, Soole’s arm and bat were carrying the Coyotes into the Class 5A state tournament. Now he already is competing for roster spots with older players fresh off four or five-year collegiate careers.

“I’ve already learned a lot the last few days,” Soole said. “It’s the most amount of coaching I’ve ever gotten in a short amount of time. I wouldn’t call it intimidating, but it’s a lot different going from high school to seeing everyone throw 96 and up. It’s a big challenge, and I’ll adjust. I’m just excited to get started.”

While Soole was quick to clarify he was more than ready to honor his commitment with Southern Illinois if he failed to agree to terms with Arizona, the situation with the Salukis was not one that exactly had Soole jumping out of his cleats. Southern Illinois finished 12-46 this season.

“It’s not that I wasn’t excited to go to Southern Illinois,” Soole said. “This is just an opportunity I was more excited for.”

Though Soole has been drafted as an outfielder, he was a dynamic two-way force for Monarch, going 6-1 with a 0.77 earned-run average as one of the most dominant starting pitchers in the state. He recorded 73 strikeouts in 45.2 innings. Soole’s ledger includes a 10-strikeout, three-hit shutout against Fossil Ridge on April 4 and a 12-strikeout showing in a shutout win against Boulder on April 29. Soole recorded six games with at least nine strikeouts.

At the plate, Soole hit .518 (29 for 56) with 11 extra-base hits and a team-leading 22 RBIs. He finished in a tie for fourth in 5A with 15 stolen bases and displayed a knack for the dramatic, blasting a solo home run that gave the Coyotes a late lead in a state tournament match against Grandview that later slipped away.

Soole was a first-team all-Front Range League selection and was named to the first team of CHSAANow.com‘s 5A all-state team.

“I’m usually kind of 50-50 when it comes to guys not going to college, but in this case I think it’s a good decision for him,” Monarch coach Scott Weiss said. “He needs to play every day and learn the ups and downs of being a professional. He’s going to learn a lot over the next few years.

“It’s been his lifelong dream to be drafted out of high school. It just came down to him wanting to be a pro baseball player. And who can blame him?”

Follow Pat on Twitter: twitter.com/prooney07