While the Texas State Bobcat baseball team’s season may have not ended in a fashion they would’ve liked, the ‘Cats certainly set their players up for the future.
Four Bobcats were selected in the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft over a three-day period. The four Texas State selections tied for the fourth most players selected in a single draft in school history (2009, 2014).
In the ninth round, sophomore pitcher Hunter McMahon was selected with the 273rd overall pick by the Washington Nationals. McMahon spent his first season in division I baseball two years removed off of Tommy John surgery and was recruited by Texas State’s recruiting coordinator Steven Trout out of Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
His numbers in community college don’t pop off the stat sheet, but his lively arm and 94 mph fastball was enough to bring him down to San Marcos. As a Bobcat, McMahon was a critical part of the weekend rotation and threw some excellent outings. In particular, his shutout against Louisiana-Lafayette on April 27 with 11 strikeouts stands out as his best performance of the year.
Pitching coach Chad Massengale knew the professional potential McMahon possessed ahead of the 2018-19 season.
“He turned a lot of heads and got a lot of attention from the scouts,” Massengale said. “We’re looking for big things from him this year.”
McMahon delivered by finishing the season with a record of 5-5, including 71 strikeouts and 31 walks with a 4.72 ERA.
On day three of the MLB draft, the Toronto Blue Jays drafted junior pitcher Nicholas Fraze in the 22nd round with the 657th overall pick. The youngest Bobcat to get drafted, Fraze spent three years starting games in a Bobcat uniform.
The Carrollton, Texas native contributed a quick arm and nasty slider to establish dominance on the mound. Fraze struck out 12 batters in 7.0 innings en route to their 1-0 win against Rice in the Shriners College Classic. Fraze earned the events most outstanding player award and was named both the college sports madness national player of the week, and the Sun Belt Conference player of the week.
Fraze finished his career at Texas State with a 4.17 ERA, 17-10 record in 252 innings pitched and 201 strikeouts recorded. He also was named to the all Sun Belt Conference second team with his performance in 2019.
Five rounds later, the Nationals selected senior third baseman Jaylen Hubbard with the 813th pick in the MLB draft. Hubbard has proved to be a key middle-of-the-order bat for the ‘Cats since 2016.
Hubbard brought leadership, contact and power to a lineup that lost multiple starters the season prior. Hubbard had his best year offensively in 2019, batting .323 with 17 doubles, eight home runs and 30 RBI’s to become a valuable setup man in the latter half of the season.
Hubbard follows in the footsteps of his father, Trent Hubbard, who played in the major and minor baseball leagues for 19 seasons with nine teams from 1986-2003.
In the 31st round, the Chicago White Sox selected fifth-year senior pitcher Connor Reich with the 920nd overall pick. Reich completed his Texas State career with 17 wins, 150 runs allowed and 224 batters struck out. Reich finished with a 4.47 ERA, the lowest amongst this season’s starters for the Bobcats.
Reich was selected as the Sun Belt Conference community coffee pitcher of the year and all Sun Belt Conference first team in 2019.
Featured image by Texas State Athletics.