Piedra Vista High grad Chase Silseth signs contract as newest member of Los Angeles Angels
FARMINGTON — The moment Chase Silseth got the call was the moment his life was changed.
Silseth, a 2019 graduate of Piedra Vista High School and currently attending the University of Arizona, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim earlier this month. This past week, while attending games in Farmington at the Connie Mack World Series, Silseth came to terms with the Angels on a 5-year rookie contract.
Silseth will report to Phoenix next week for assignment with the organization, embarking on a career that many youth baseball players can only dream of.
"It was jaw-dropping when I got the call from the team," Silseth said of being told he was drafted. "I didn't find out until they'd actually drafted me. So it was a bit of a surprise when I heard it. You never really know how much people see of the work you've done until that moment."
Drafted in the 11th round by the Angels, Silseth was the 321st player selected in the annual draft, in which more than 600 players from around the world are chosen to join a Major League Baseball team, usually starting their careers with one of the many minor league affiliate organization.
While attending Piedra Vista, Silseth won several state and national awards playing for head baseball coach Mike McGaha. As a junior in 2018, Silseth hit for a .328 batting average and went 7-3 on the mound with a 1.25 ERA.
Silseth also holds several single-season and career strikeout records for the Panthers and was named 2018 New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year.
Following high school and prior to attending the University of Arizona, Silseth attended and played baseball for the College of Southern Nevada as well as the University of Tennessee.
After transferring to UofA, Silseth had an 8-1 record with a 5.55 ERA. He recorded a team-high 105 strikeouts this past season, third best in the Pac-12 Conference, helping the Wildcats win the conference championship. Silseth was selected to the All-Conference team.
Perhaps Silseth's biggest career highlight was reaching the College World Series, where Silseth earned the start against Vanderbilt in the opening game of the series. Vanderbilt finished second in the 2021 College World Series, losing to Mississippi State.
Silseth was matched up against Kumar Rocker in that opening game. Rocker was the overall number ten pick in the MLB Draft, selected by the New York Mets.
"That's the big moment for me," Silseth said. "Being asked to pitch in the opening game of the College World Series meant the world to me."
Silseth is aware of the challenges ahead as he begins his new role with the Angels.
"Getting the opportunity to play there is amazing," Silseth said. "I've stayed busy throwing during the offseason so I hope I can come out to the team and show what I can do."
Silseth said his experience playing in front of big crowds, both in Farmington during his high school days and during the Connie Mack World Series as well as his time at the collegiate level, will hopefully serve him well.
"The support I've gotten everywhere I go has been great. I've been lucky to have played in front of large crowds before and that's been great for me."
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680