For a pair of Chesco high school players, the 2017 MLB Draft didn’t pan out as anticipated. But both will likely head to well-regarded college destinations with the irrevocable honor of having been drafted.
Rustin pitcher Chris McMahon eventually came off the board at pick No. 980 in the 33rd round to the Atlanta Braves, while Malvern Prep catcher Shane Muntz went 1,068 in the 36th round to the Padres.
Coatesville pitcher Adam Stauffer — who has committed to St. John’s University — was taken in the 19th round (578th overall pick) by the Baltimore Orioles.
Muntz eyed the Padres as a possible destination in rounds three through 10 Tuesday night, but the non-baseball factors never matched up. Muntz’s stature as a 6-foot-4, 240-pound catcher makes him an impressive physical specimen. But his firm commitment to Wake Forest and the risk of forfeited bonus-pool funds for players that don’t sign contributed in scaring off potential suitors off.
“From the outside, some people say that you should go earlier,” Muntz said. “They don’t understand that some kids that are in the top 100 didn’t get taken. No one looks at how much money is at stake.”
After two days of nervous attentiveness to the draft, McMahon opted to clear his mind Wednesday. Rated as the No. 100 prospect by MLB.com, the University Miami-bound right-handed pitcher had a good idea that no team beyond selecting in rounds 11-40 Wednesday would meet his criteria to bypass the Hurricanes.
“Today I didn’t really follow it,” McMahon said. “I followed it here and there for five to 10 minutes at a time, but I guess after an hour or two I just stopped. I hung out with some friends around town and I happened to come home and I was home for five to 10 minutes and got a phone call from the Atlanta Braves in the 33rd round. I didn’t try to worry about it much.”
The draft didn’t meet the highest of hopes for either McMahon or Muntz. But the designation of being drafted is something that can’t be taken away, which provides a consolation to the last week.
“I’ve definitely gotten some texts, some congratulations. It’s awesome to be drafted,” McMahon said. “I’m not trying to take anything away from that. Its’ a dream come true. A lot of kids don’t get to go through it or experience it, so definitely a day I will remember for the rest of my life. Hopefully in three years, that day will be remembered more happily than this one.”
“It gives me confidence going into school knowing that you’ve gotten drafted before,” Muntz said. “It helps me know what I can do on the field and to know that in a few years, I can get better and I should get drafted even higher.”