Sports

Federal Way grad Brady Everett catches on with Kansas City Royals

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Federal Way High School graduate Brady Everett was sitting in front of his computer in Pullman when he got “The Call” Tuesday afternoon.

“The Call,” which is something anybody who ever puts on a pair of baseball spikes dreams of, came from the Kansas City Royals after the American League franchise selected him with the 442nd overall pick (15th round) of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Everett, who was named first-team, All-Pac 10 as a catcher after a stellar senior season for the Washington State Cougars. “I’m really anxious to go and start playing professional baseball. Baseball is all I focus on and now it’s my job.”

Everett expects to officially sign with the Royals in the next couple days and has been told he will start his professional baseball career with the Pioneer League’s Idaho Falls Chukars. The rookie league team starts its season June 21 in Casper, Wyo.

Everett led all Washington State regulars in 2005 in the three Triple Crown categories. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder hit .337 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs. He also led the Cougars with 50 runs scored. His 15 homers were second in the Pac-10. He also started all 57 of Washington State’s games at catcher.

“He played as well as he could have played this year,” said WSU head coach Donnie Marbut. “He’s just a very aggressive, hard-working player. He’s a natural leader and guys just gravitate toward him.”

Tuesday was the second time Everett has been drafted by Kansas City. After his senior season at Federal Way in 2001, which ended in a Class 4A state title, the Royals selected him in the 44th round as a draft-and-follow prospect — meaning they controlled his rights for one year. He played his freshman season at Edmonds Community College, but the Royals didn’t offer him a contract.

Everett instead went on to Clemson University in South Carolina for the next two seasons before transferring to Washington State last summer.

“I found myself catching a little bit here and there (at Clemson),” he said. “(WSU) gave me the opportunity to catch everyday.”

“Once he stepped on campus, he played well,” Marbut said. “It was fun to watch him and the numbers he put up.”

Everett admits that his defense behind the plate has to improve for him to move up in the Royals’ organization. There has also been talk about him playing a little outfield in the Minor Leagues to take advantage of his strong arm.

“I wasn’t always a strong defensive catcher,” Everett said. “I have a really good arm and I know I have areas to work on.”

Deric Ladnier, Kansas City’s senior director of scouting, describes Everett’s game as having “above-average power, fringy-average defensive skills, very good plate discipline.”

Everett will have a lot of competition in the Royals’ organization at the catcher position. Among their 50 draftees Tuesday, Kansas City selected nine catchers, including picks in the eighth, ninth and 10th rounds.

“I just want to come out this summer and be consistent,” Everett said. “I jjust want to try to get a little bit better every day.”

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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