Iowa shortstop McCoy relieved for O's call

Iowa shortstop McCoy relieved for O's call

BALTIMORE -- After putting up solid numbers at the University of Iowa last year, shortstop Mason McCoy seemed to be ready to take his talents to the next level, but the phone never rang. Following a year of hard work, the shortstop was drafted by the Orioles in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft.

According to hawkcentral.com, McCoy expected to be drafted in 2016 but received no offers. In his junior campaign, McCoy posted a .291 batting average with two home runs and 34 RBIs. He also scored 37 runs with 12 doubles, two triples and was an all-tournament selection for the Big Ten Conference.

It would have been easy for a player to get discouraged, but that's not what happened with McCoy. Instead of starting what he thought would be his professional career in the summer of 2016, McCoy played in a collegiate summer league (Northwoods) in the upper midwestern region of the United States. He was named the MVP and broke the league record with 111 hits. And McCoy was only heating up.

"Over the last eight years, I've watched Mason McCoy be told more often than not that he wasn't good enough to go play at the next level," Ben Diggle, the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Illinois Central Community College, posted on Twitter. "I'm so proud of how he has responded each and every time."

The right-handed hitter came back for his senior year and improved in almost every category. His 2017 slash line was .328/.394/.474 with five home runs and 34 RBIs. McCoy also scored 55 runs with 18 doubles and two triples. He struck out 23 fewer times than in his junior year, going from 48 strikeouts to 25. On the defensive end, his fielding percentage went from .951 in 2016 to .974 in '17.

McCoy's impressive spike in numbers caused his phone to ring one year later. The Orioles selected the 6-foot, 175-pound shortstop in the sixth round of the Draft with the 188th pick overall.

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"Words can't describe how happy I am for him today that he has achieved his goal of playing professionally," Diggle posted. "But I'm even prouder of him for the man he's become."

The 22-year-old graduated in 2013 from Washington Community High School in Illinois and was a four-time all-area and all-conference selection, according to his bio on hawkeyesports.com. McCoy also lettered in basketball and soccer.

He then moved on to Illinois Central Community College, where he was a two-time All-America, all-region and all-conference selection. He was named the Freshman Player of the Year after batting .394 with 84 hits and five home runs. He came back in his sophomore year hitting .382 with eight doubles before transferring to Iowa at the end of the season.

Now that he has finally received the call he was waiting for, McCoy told pjstar.com that it was "just a sigh of relief." The shortstop also said that although he was a Cubs fan growing up, his favorite player was former Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada. Now, McCoy hopes to play in the same spot he watched Tejada play.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.