SK pitcher makes commitment to Washington

Wolves might lose low-post presence if Monagle opts to pass up basketball to concentrate on baseball next year

A presence in the post hasn’t been an issue for South Kitsap in recent years with the Monagle brothers down low.

That might not be the case for much longer.

Josh Monagle, a 2006 South graduate, recently was named to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges’ all-tournament team for Bellevue Community College. His younger brother, Collin, who has another year of high school left, likely will pursue a different sport at the next level.

Monagle said he committed to play baseball at the University of Washington over offers from Oregon State and Washington State, and it’s “50-50” whether he’ll play basketball for the Wolves next winter.

He said he might focus just on pitching now that he has set his college plans. Monagle said he has weakness in his right shoulder, which could keep him out for the entire season this year.

“I’m rehabbing it and getting the muscles stronger in the back,” he said, adding that the timing is difficult considering that last year’s top starter, Brad Johnson, is academically ineligible. “It’s better than tearing the rotator cuff and missing the summer season.”

Monagle noticed his velocity dipped during workouts and doctors found the issue when he went in for an MRI. He expects to make a complete recovery and hopes to pitch for the Wolves toward the end of the season. The regular season runs until late April.

“They (the Huskies) were pretty excited about having him pitch, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re taking such caution with having him throw this year,” South coach Jim Fairweather said. “It’s to not hurt him.”

He pitched mostly in relief for South last season and compiled a 3.23 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings, but said he wants to develop as a starter.

During the summer, he worked with former WSU standout Dave Wainhouse, who pitched in the major leagues for parts of seven seasons, on a change up. Wainhouse is the pitching coach for Chaffey Baseball, the summer-league team for which Monagle pitches.

He said he also throws a fastball that generally ranges from 86 to 89 mph, a slider and split-finger fastball.

Monagle said the decision to pass on an opportunity to pitch for OSU, which has won two consecutive national championships, wasn’t easy.

He said he developed a relationship with UW coach Ken Knutson, a former pitcher there, and the Huskies offered more scholarship money than the Beavers.

NCAA baseball teams have 11.7 scholarships to divide among 30-plus players.

He also noted that several of his friends from Chaffey Baseball, including shortstop Andy Bethel (Seattle Prep), catcher Brady McGuire (Kentridge) and pitchers T.J. Parthemer (Eastside Catholic) and Brandon Rohde (Gig Harbor), have committed to join him at UW when they graduate in 2009.

All verbal commitments are nonbinding until national letter-of-intent day in November.

Monagle said the only reason why he won’t attend UW is if he signs with a major-league team.

“Right now, there’s been a couple of pro things,” he said. “The line (to sign) is about the 10th round.”