BASEBALL | South Kitsap freshman commits to University of Washington

Garcia is believed to be the youngest player to select his athletic destination in Wolves’ history

South Kitsap freshman outfielder Dustin Garcia has committed to play in 2019 at the University of Washington.

South Kitsap freshman outfielder Dustin Garcia has committed to play in 2019 at the University of Washington.

Dustin Garcia has not even reached high school.

But that did not prevent the John Sedgwick Junior High freshman from verbally committing to play baseball — in 2019 — at the University of Washington.

Garcia, who is believed to be the youngest commit in South Kitsap history, said he was offered a scholarship by the Huskies when he competed in May in Perfect Game USA’s West Memorial Day Classic in Phoenix.

It did not take the left-handed hitting outfielder long to contemplate the offer.

“The reason why I made a commitment is because I always wanted to be a Husky,” Garcia said. “It’s close to home and my family can come visit me.”

He also took an unofficial visit to Oregon before he made his decision. But Garcia said he is “settled” with his decision and does not anticipate considering any other offers. He said he has bonded with the university’s coaching staff and also is impressed with Husky Ballpark, which underwent an extensive renovate following the 2013 season.

“The new baseball stadium is amazing,” Garcia said. “I can’t wait to play in it.”

Garcia became the Wolves’ first position player to commit to a Pac-12 school since third baseman Brady Steiger committed to Washington State as a junior in 2008. Steiger played as a freshman in 2010 at WSU and later transferred to Idaho’s Lewis-Clark State College. He has played the last two seasons with the New York Yankees’ rookie and short-season level teams, where he has a combined .191 batting average in 136 at-bats.

Two pitchers — Collin Monagle and Kellen Traxel — also committed to UW during their junior seasons at South. The right-handed Monagle redshirted as a freshman at UW and now is a senior at Cal State Monterey Bay. Traxel, a lefty, signed with the Huskies in 2013 but has not pitched in a game since his arrival on campus.

Five Wolves also have been selected in the amateur draft. Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was the latest when the Chicago White Sox selected him in the sixth round in 2005 out of Everett Community College. But Garcia was not ready to speculate on whether he could be the next.

“I really haven’t thought that far down the road,” Garcia said.

He already has impressed South coach Marcus Logue, who guided the Wolves to the Class 4A state championship game in each of his first two seasons.

“I think he’s got the right mentality and loves the game,” Logue said. “We’re very fortunate to have him. He’s extremely talented, hardworking, really focused and dedicated to the game. During the next four years, we’re going to have a great opportunity to hopefully put something together and make sure he gets all of the skills he needs to be not only successful for South Kitsap but be prepared when he goes to the University of Washington.”

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