Oakland A’s outfield prospect Grant Desme is turning in his baseball uniform for a collar. The 23-year-old minor league baseball player announced on Friday that he was leaving baseball to pursue the Catholic priesthood.

“I was doing well at ball. But I really had to get down to the bottom of things,” Desme said during a Friday conference call. “Baseball is a good thing, but that felt selfish of me when I felt that God was calling me more. It took awhile to trust that and open up to it and aim full steam toward him. I wasn’t at peace with where I was at. I love the game, but I aspire to higher things.”

In 2009, Desme hit a combined .288 with 31 HRs, 89 RBI and 40 SBs at Class-A Kane County and Class-A Stockton. He followed that up with a .315 average, 11 HRs and 27 RBI in Arizona this fall. He was a second-round pick for the A’s in the 2007 amateur draft. He was named MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

“We respect Grant’s decision and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” said Billy Beane, the A’s general manager.

Desme will enter St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County in August. St. Michael’s Abbey is the home to the Norbertine Fathers, one of the religious orders that is experiencing a fair amount of growth.

Desme said that the process of becoming a priest will take about 10 years. “It’s like re-entering the minor leagues,” he said. “I desire and hope to become a priest,” he said. “But it’s all up to God.”