As name after name was being called and teams were making their picks during Monday’s MLB Draft, Richland’s Trent Clark, his family and closest friends began to worry, just wondering how long this might last.
But the left-handed outfielder lived up to his first-round prospects, being selected 15th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers to a roar of cheers inside a watch party at an area Plucker’s Wing Bar.
“Excited for my family and the opportunity to fulfill my dreams,” Clark said. “I was thinking that this has been my dream since I was three and I get to start it. My family and everybody in the room wanted me to go to a Texas team to be close and I just wanted to play baseball.”
The Texas Rangers had the fourth pick while the Houston Astros had the fifth pick.
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Family, friends and media gathered around the table Clark, his parents, girlfriend and her parents shared during the draft, brought out their cameras and phones, hoping to get a picture when his named was called.
And when the Brewers made their selection, the emotions poured out.
“I didn’t know it would be as nerve-racking as that, but I’m glad it’s over,” said mom, Michelle Grisham. “I’m happy with this pick, he’s happy with this pick.”
“I was calm, feeling really good,” Clark said. “I heard my name and the support and I couldn’t hold anything back.”
Even Richland coach Chuck Wells was emotional to see one of his own get a shot at the big leagues.
“I’m just so proud, he’s like one of my kids,” Wells said. “He’s a great kid, great teammate for this program.”
Wells has been coaching for 20 years, eight with Richland. In his early days at Spring High School in Houston, he recalled Josh Beckett being drafted.
After batting .552 and being named the MVP in District 7-6A this past season, Clark knows that there’s a lot more to prove.
“I can get started with my career, but the pressure is always going to be on me,” he said. “Lot of those guys don’t know who I am ... I have to prove that I can represent their club.”
Weatherford right-handed pitcher Beau Burrows was watching the draft from his house with family and friends. He was selected 22nd overall by the Detroit Tigers.
TCU ace left-hander Alex Young was the first player taken in the second round, going 43rd overall to Arizona. Arlington Seguin right-hander Tony Santillan went six picks later, at 49, to the Cincinnati Reds. A second TCU pitcher, right-hander Tyler Alexander, was picked by the Detroit Tigers with the 65th overall selection.
Two other TCU pitchers — closer Riley Ferrell and starter Mitchell Traver — were still waiting to hear their names called.
Plano outfielder Mitch Hansen was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 67th pick.