MINFORD – A dream has come true for a 2015 Minford High School Graduate. Dylan Shockley, a former Minford baseball star who has starred at Rio Grande University during the last four years, was drafted in the 34th round of the 2019 MLB Draft Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“This is such an amazing feeling,” Shockley said of being drafted by the Pirates. “Getting to hear my name called is something I’ve wanted since I was a kid. This is everything I’ve worked for my entire life.”
With his selection in the 34th round, Shockley becomes the first player in Rio Grande’s program history to be selected in the MLB Draft. During his senior season with the Redstorm, Shockley finished with a team high .373 batting average, a team high .594 slugging percentage, and a team high .495 on base percentage. Shockley was also named Player of the Year in the River States Conference during both his sophomore and junior seasons.
“We’ve worked so hard on this, him mostly,” said former Minford head coach and current scout for the Boston Red Sox Tim Martin. “I’m just so happy for him. Dylan texted me in the 26th round and I told him to hang in there. It’s been a special day. I met him when he was seven years old, came to my camp as a young boy. Chubby legs, tummy, but a great arm. The adversity this kid has overcome: missed his sophomore year due to Tommy John, meniscus surgery and then had to have his meniscus removed. If anyone is mentally strong enough for this, it’s Dylan. He’s a special kid who will not let them down.”
Shockley said the moment he had been anxiously waiting for came while getting prepared for Wednesday’s game as a member of the Chillicothe Paints.
“I was out in the outfield shagging balls when I got the call,” Shockley said. “It was an amazing moment, one that I’m really glad I got to share with my family and the Paints.”
Shockley also had very positive things to say about his relationship with his former coach and the journey that led them to getting Wednesday’s call.
“Tim Martin’s been a father figure my whole life, I really can’t thank him enough for everything. Ever since I was six years old, I was tugging on Tim Martin’s pants telling him to let me pitch. So thankful for him getting me ready for this moment, always on me making me better.”
“Don’t ever give up on your dream,” said Martin of anyone who looks up to Dylan after being drafted. “If you’ve got that will and that grit like Dylan, good things can happen for you. He’s tough and he sets a good example for kids. If I was a young person and wanted to look at someone to follow, it’d be him.”
Wednesday’s moment is a culmination of years of hard work for Shockley, Shockley’s family, and Martin. But the journey is far from over. With his prospective minor league career approaching, Shockley and Martin know how important it is for Shockley to continue working to hopefully one day achieve more dreams.
“I can’t be satisfied,” Shockley said. “Time to put in the time and the effort to try and make it to the big leagues. I’m certainly ready to put the work and the time in.”
“The biggest thing is you have to have a short memory,” Martin said. “It’s going to be one of those things where he’s not catching seven days a week, where there’s other catchers. There’s all kinds of guys that go in slumps, the big thing is to make sure you don’t stay in it. I feel like the skies the limit with him.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved