South Pasadena High alumnus Keaton Leach, who played at Glendale Community…
It took three days, but South Pasadena High alumnus Keaton Leach heard the call.
The Glendale Community College freshman reliever was selected on the last day of the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs in the 32nd round with the 948th overall pick.
Leach had been watching the draft all day Saturday, but began losing hope.
“I hadn’t seen my name called, so I stopped watching,” said Leach, who turned down a full-ride scholarship to Fresno State to stay local with Glendale. “Right when I stopped watching was when my name got called. I heard my name called over the speakers at my house and my parents rushed over and started hugging me.”
The 6-foot-2 relief pitcher was a key member of a stacked Vaqueros bullpen this season. Keaton tallied a 5-1 record and a save through 41 1/3 innings this season.
He posted a 2.61 earned-run average and 23-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but most importantly developed as a person and a player.
“This is definitely a big goal of mine to eventually play in the major leagues and I’m really enjoying the moment right now,” Leach said. “It’s pretty surreal to hear my name called by the Cubs.”
Leach played two season with the Tigers, earning an All-Rio Hondo League second-team honor his senior season after posting a deceiving 3-6 record with a 3.05 earned-run average with 55 strikeouts over 57 1/3 innings.
“He's a very talented kid and he's just meant to play baseball,” said former South Pasadena High baseball Coach Anthony Chevrier. “He's got the perfect, ideal body type that people are looking for and he's a hard worker. He's on the way up.”
While the former Tiger said spending a year at Glendale Community College was the “best choice” for him, he’s uncertain on what’s next for him.
“I have no answer for that, to be honest,” Leach said on whether he’ll sign with the Cubs. “It’s so early and I am really just enjoying the moment and soaking it in.”