By Bill Kipouras
In some baseball circles, Danvers' J.B. Macdonald has been projected to be chosen between the 10th and 20th rounds when the Major League Baseball amateur draft resumes today.
The Boston College pitching ace was unaware of that projection, but said he was "excited" about the possibility of being drafted.
"Pro ball is what I'd love to do," he said.
The 22-year-old senior right-hander was the No. 1 pitcher for Boston College, going 5-7 with a 4.86 ERA in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He worked 96 innings and held opponents to a batting average of .250, striking out twice as many batters (71) as he walked (32).
"I've talked to some teams lately: the Padres, Tigers, and Royals," said Macdonald. "A fair amount of teams basically called me to make sure my health is good and asked if I wanted to play (pro baseball). There wasn't been any kind of talk about money or (which) round. Honestly, I have no idea what round I may get picked or if I will be drafted."
Macdonald posted impressive conference wins over Clemson, South Florida, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Maryland. He would often talk to scouts on days after he pitched and filled out questionnaires for 15-16 different teams. He also felt the exposure he got by playing in the ACC helped his profile.
"I definitely want to play (professionally) and my BC coach, Don Oaki, feels I have a shot at being drafted," Macdonald said.
Macdonald majored in economics at BC and graduated May 18.
"I guess I've got to wait and see what happens (today)," he said. "I'll keep my fingers crossed."
He is not interested in Class A independent baseball.
"I couldn't see myself doing that if the draft didn't work out," Macdonald said. "My feeling is that if I'm not good enough to be drafted, I don't think independent ball would benefit me."
Macdonald was not drafted out of Danvers High, where he was primarily a shortstop. His pitching talents were discovered by ex-BC coach Peter Hughes at a baseball camp Hughes operated at Plains Park in Danvers.