Blount Press Row

Nick Gets Picked!

Scots shortstop becomes MC’s first MLB Draft selection
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Maryville College senior Nick Dean coils to swing during a game this season. Photos by Brandon Shinn

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Dean ranges to his left to make a tough throw to first.

Dean ranges to his right to make a tough throw to first.

The waiting was tough.

The call that eventually came around 5:30 Wednesday afternoon was absolutely terrific.

The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Maryville College senior Nick Dean in the 32nd round, No. 972 overall, of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. With the pick, the Scots shortstop became the first player in the history of MC baseball to be so distinguished.

“It’s just awesome,” Dean said. “I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Dean was one of only 10 NCAA Division III players selected over the 40 rounds and 1,215 selections of the three-day draft.

Oral Roberts right-hander Jacob McDavid was taken with the 1,215th pick late Wednesday.

When he signs on Friday, Dean, a two-time All-American and two-time USA South Player of the Year, will become Maryville’s first pro baseball prospect since pitcher Glen Cullop signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 1992.

Waiting on the call was tough, Dean said.

“It weighed on me,” he said, “but I was content with it. I knew I’d done all I could do.”

Dean credits Maryville coach Cody Church for a lot of what happened Wednesday.

“Every kid has that dream (of playing professional baseball), but I was never heavily recruited out of high school,” he said. “Only Maryville wanted me for baseball. Coach Church got my name out there, and here we are.”

Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving player, Church said.

“Nick just worked his tail off,” he said. “The biggest thing for Nick was not trying to do too much. We had a great team this year and it allowed Nick to play his game.”

After Dean earned conference player of the year a year ago, Church began contacting professional scouts on his shortstop’s behalf, with several attending Maryville games this season.

“I wouldn’t tell Nick when they were coming down,” he said.

The heightened interested led to a period of adjustment for Dean. He got off to a slow start. By a late-season visit to Division I Northern Kentucky, he was back to his old self, going 1-for-3 with a double and Maryville’s lone RBI in a 3-1 loss.

“When we went to Kentucky, there was no hiding,” Church said. “Nick had a great game against a Division I arm and a lot of scouts got to see him that day. The Dodgers were there that day.”

Dean all but obliterated the records for hitting in four seasons at Maryville. In his senior season this spring, the Mineral Bluff, Ga., native became Maryville’s all-time hits leader, collecting 247 of them in the orange and garnet. His 74 hits in 2015 is also a school record.

He hit .454 for a career.

A career!

Dean paced all of Division III in RBI this season while fielding his position at a .930 clip. Dean is the only Scot ever named to two All-America teams, with ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com both extending the honor.

The history making Scot reports to the Dodgers spring training facility in Arizona on Friday.

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