By Steve Breazeale
JSerra senior Dane McFarland knew that the call was coming, it was only a matter of when.
The 6-foot-4-inch outfielder for the Lions had been in talks with four Major League Baseball teams in the buildup to the 2013 first-year player draft, and McFarland was not sure if he would be selected on the second day, or the third.
When the call finally came the morning of June 8, it was the Arizona Diamondbacks on the other end, who notified McFarland that they had selected him in the 12th round as the 360th overall pick.
McFarland had committed to the University of Oregon but has opted to go straight to the majors. He will likely sign his contract on June 17 or 18.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get drafted on the second or third day … Some teams were saying the fifth, sixth or seventh round or later,” McFarland said. “It was actually pretty stressful just not knowing. I was eager more than anything … But I’m very excited.”
McFarland’s decision to sign with the Diamondbacks rather than attend Oregon was prompted by what the senior called a “substantial amount of money” attached to his signing bonus. He was also eager to get the ball rolling on his already blossoming baseball career.
“I’d love to go to school but I was looking to start my pro career as soon as possible,” McFarland said.
The Diamondbacks player personnel have told McFarland that they want him to play right field, a position he has not had regular time at. McFarland is by trade, a center fielder, but said that the organization feels he’d be a better fit in right.
Before the 2012-2013 season began, McFarland had surgery to remove the hamate bone in his hand, causing him to miss some of his senior season. McFarland says that the injury has fully healed and that he has been back at full strength for some time.
Other MLB Draft News:
Three other JSerra alums, who are now playing college baseball, were also selected in the 2013 MLB First-year Player Draft.
Colton Plaia, a 2009 graduate and current player for Loyola Marymount University, was selected 446th overall by the New York Mets. According to a JSerra press release, Plaia will sign with the team.
Pitcher Reed Reilly was selected 549th overall by the Baltimore Orioles. Reilly recently finished the year pitching for San Luis Obispo in the College World Series.
Pepperdine University’s Cory Miller was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers as the 482nd overall pick and rounds out the group of Lions players selected in the draft.