Baseball

Coast baseball star has ‘surreal’ experience of getting MLB Draft call in paradise

When Trevor McDonald planned his senior trip a year ago, he had little idea that the opportunity to play pro baseball would come immediately after his graduation from George County High School.

It just so happened that his seven-day cruise planned for the first week of June coincided with the Major League Baseball draft.

That’s why he was on a beach in Puerto Rico Wednesday morning repeatedly refreshing his Twitter feed when he found out that he had been drafted by the San Francisco Giants.

“I’m excited, pumped up,” the right-handed pitcher said. “It was really nerve racking, the whole process.”

The Giants picked up McDonald in the 11th round as the 326th overall selection following a meteoric rise during his senior year at George County.

McDonald was regarded as one of the better pitchers in South Mississippi during his junior year, but a dramatic improvement in velocity made him one of the better high school baseball prospects in the state as a senior. His fastball jumped from the high 80’s as a junior to as high as 96 miles per hour as a senior.

McDonald credits the fact that he didn’t throw at all during the fall while he put on about 18 pounds while eating plenty and putting in a lot of hours in the weight room.

“Oh, it paid off a lot,” he said. “The more weight I gained the harder I threw. It helped out a lot.”

The Giants began to show interest early on once McDonald showed up at a Perfect Game event in Kissimmee, Florida, in January and impressed scouts with a fastball in the mid 90’s.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound McDonald was dominant during his senior year at George County, finishing 8-2 with a 1.78 ERA in 12 games. He struck out 105 and walked 15 in 51 innings.

“When I went down to Florida, it all came to reality,” he said. “It’s kind of surreal. It all happened real fast.”

As the draft unfolded, McDonald had a pretty good idea that the Giants organization would be his ultimate destination.

“My adviser had it mapped out pretty good,” he said.

McDonald signed with South Alabama in December, but he seems destined to forgo college for a shot at the big leagues.

“I’m going to sign with the Giants and try to make it all the way,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time talking with my adviser. They gave us a good money number to work with. We ended up getting a good amount so you can’t turn it down.”

Patrick Magee is a sports writer who has covered South Mississippi for much of the last two decades. From Southern Miss to high schools, he stays on top of it all.
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