After waiting through the entire 40-round Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft without hearing his name, the graduate of Riverdale High School and, more recently, Florida Tech, could finally breathe a sigh of relief when the Tampa Bay Rays called this week to offer a free-agent contract. McChesney’s answer was an unqualified yes.More on his career with the Panthers:
McChesney was up at 6 a.m. Tuesday to report to the Port Charlotte camp of the Gulf Coast League Rays for his first day of activities. The rookie league’s games will start Monday.
The versatile Florida Tech star, who earned first-team honors for the All-Sunshine State Conference and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-South Region teams as a first baseman, will shift to his preferred spot at catcher in the pros. That was where he impressed the Rays enough in a May 31 workout that they remembered him two weeks later.
A May graduate with a degree in civil engineering, McChesney played four years for the Panthers. He departs as a career .341 hitter with 225 hits, 62 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs and 161 RBIs in 191 games. In his final two years, he primarily played either catcher or first base. Before settling in, he went 4-0 in 2010 as a starting pitcher with a 1.38 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 26 innings.- 22 years old, listed at 6'0", 200 pounds.
Over the last three seasons, he has been named Daktronics All-America, all-region six times, Capital One Academic All-District First Team and All-Sunshine State Conference First Team twice.