‘No better organization in baseball,’ says Sean McLain after signing with Dodgers

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Sean McLain signed this week with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. (Photo courtesy of the McLain family).

Sean McLain hopes to one day play Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of his family and friends at Dodger Stadium.

That became a possibility when the former Beckman High School and standout Arizona State agreed to terms this week with the Dodgers, who drafted him a week earlier in the fifth round of the MLB Draft.

“I didn’t participate on day one, I ended up participating on day two,” McLain said Thursday. “The Dodgers called me on the fifth and asked if I wanted to sign with them on the fifth and I thought there was no better organization in baseball to sign with, so I agreed. the offer in round 5. I hugged my dad first, then I went over to my mom and hugged my mom and gave her a big kiss and everyone there was excited.

“It was on TV so I thought it was pretty cool to see my name on TV for the first time.”

McLain, an infielder, officially signed his contract on Wednesday, his father Michael McLain said.

“He’s thrilled to be part of the Dodgers organization,” Michael McLain said.

Although the terms were not disclosed, Sean McLain said he was happy with the signing package.

“I’m delighted they gave me a good amount of money,” he said.

Sean McLain said he was excited to be part of the Dodgers organization and was waiting to find out what minor league assignment he would get.

“I think they’re in the top two in player development and their Major League Baseball team is pretty good as well,” McLain said. “And they’re local, but I’ll be in the minor leagues soon.”

McLain is a versatile player who went from second base to shortstop last season at Arizona State.

“I think I see myself as a shortstop in the organization, but as everyone knows as well as my coach at Arizona State and my coach in high school (Kevin Lavalle) knows I can play second base, I can play third and I can play outfield as well,” he said.

“I’m a utility player, but all that’s going to get me to the big leagues faster is the goal. If it’s at second, if it’s at shortstop or third or center, I hope to play where I can get to the major leagues fastest, wherever they want me, I’m going to put in the work and do it.

“I’m just thrilled to be here and to be blessed with this great opportunity.”

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound McLain had an opportunity to return to Arizona State, where, as a redshirt sophomore last season, he batted .333 with 34 RBIs.

“I wouldn’t mind going back and playing for (coach) Willy Bloomquist,” he said. “I think they have the program in the right position and….. I think they are the right coaches for the program. I really thought about going back and playing a year with Nick (his brother) when he transferred from UCLA to Arizona State.

But he said the opportunity to play for the Dodgers was one he couldn’t pass up.

“I had to make that decision and go with the Dodgers,” he said. “The state of Arizona is kind of my second home and I enjoyed my time there and honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I’m glad I went to college and having this experience. It was a journey and I loved every part of it and got to know a lot of people along the way.

McLain is now in Glendale, Ariz., at the Dodgers’ spring training facility, practicing daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We’re doing like a mini-camp for all the guys that just got drafted, so we’ll be playing in this league here playing at some of the resorts around us to start,” he said. “Then they will send some of us to Rancho Cucamonga or maybe they will send one or two to top A. But we will have to wait and see.

McLain said he’s been enjoying the experience so far.

“It’s my first job and I wouldn’t want to do anything else for my first job, so I’m very excited,” he said.

One perk of being drafted by the Dodgers is the ability to play Major League Baseball near his hometown of Tustin.

“It’ll be fun and it’ll be local if it ever happens and the Reds (his older brother Matt was a first-round pick by Cincinnati) come and play us, we’ll have the whole family there,” he said. declared.

Matt McLain, who is with Chattanooga Lookouts in Tennessee, was on FaceTime when Sean McLain was drafted.

“I saw a big smile on his face which made me smile even more,” Sean McLain said. “Seeing my older brother happy for me was really cool because I remember watching him last year when I was with Team USA, I was also FaceTime.

“Nick was really excited for me. I don’t know if he shed a tear or not, but he was super excited for me and gave me a big hug. I said to him, ‘you’re next,’ he has to do it and hopefully we get three McLain brothers in pro ball. With Nick’s track record I think he will, I think he’s the most talented of the three of us. He’s well placed in the state of Arizona.

Sean McLain’s trainer at Beckman, Kevin Lavalle, was also delighted, indicating how proud he was of McLain after being drafted.

“I saw Coach Lavalle a few days before the draft and I was knocking in the cage and talking to him,” he said. “He was just really excited for me and he sent me a really heartwarming text which I really liked and I wrote back to him. He was also a big part of my development as a baseball player. I give him credit. also a lot of credit.”

Many of his fondest baseball memories were at Beckman. Sean McLain vividly remembers the 2018 season when Matt McLain was a senior and was last competing with his brothers. Sean McLain said he was impressed with the way Coach Lavalle was leading practices.

“He always wanted us to hit because he always wanted his team to have a lot of attack,” he said. “I give him a lot of credit for crushing us through his strikes. We just did a ton of shots in training which was really helpful for my development.

McLain said he remembers the 2018 CIF Division 2 Finals when Beckman faced Yucaipa at Cal State Fullerton. Although Yucaipa won 8-1, the match remains memorable.

“The day that stood out the most for me at Beckman would probably be when we lost to Yucapia in that CIF final (in 2018) because I thought that would probably be the last time I would be on the court with my two brothers. , ” he said. “We ended up losing that game in the CIF Finals, but I thought that time on the field with my brothers was the coolest thing I’ve ever done baseball-related.”

A new chapter has now begun for McLain, who grew up cheering on the Angels.

“I’ve always watched the Dodgers, I was actually an Angels fan but now I’m officially a Dodgers fan, I found it hilarious. I’m officially a Dodgers fan, not really an Angels fan anymore” “I watched the Dodgers games, they had them on TV the other night, which was cool.”

McLain suggested the Dodgers, who have a big lead in the National League West, could have a memorable finish this year, calling their chances of winning the World Series “pretty high.”

“I would say they are going to win,” he said.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; [email protected]

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