For the second consecutive year, a Fort Mill High graduate was selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
University of Tampa pitcher and 2015 Fort Mill grad Clay Helvey was selected in the 22nd round (pick 646) by the San Francisco Giants. Helvey was a junior at Tampa and went 5-2 this past season with a save in 70 innings of work. He also sported a 3.34 ERA and struck out 56 and walked 30 during that time.
Helvey, 21, said he had heard from a handful of teams besides the Giants, including the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins leading up to the three-day first-year player draft last week.
“The Giants were one of the teams I heard from consistently,” Helvey said.
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Helvey said he knew it would be a long shot for him to get drafted in the second day of the draft which include rounds three to 10, so he spent part of day three watching Major League Baseball’s Draft Tracker for rounds 11-40.
“I wasn’t sure,” he said. “I was skeptical of it happening. I knew it was going to be a stretch for me to go day two. I didn’t know if it was going to happen.”
At this point, Helvey will fly to Phoenix to get a physical and do the necessary paperwork for signing with the Giants. From there he would either be assigned to the Giants mini-camp or to their rookie ball organization in Arizona.
Helvey is the 14th player ever drafted by Major League Baseball that has ties to Fort Mill High and the 11th since 2001. Currently only Andrew Tomasovich (Oakland) and Brett Netzer (Boston) from Fort Mill Township are still active and in the minor leagues for their respective teams. Netzer was drafted last year and Tomasovich was drafted in 2015.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM