Chase Petty, the senior right-hander from South Jersey’s Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, was drafted in the first round, the 26th overall selection, by the Minnesota Twins on Sunday night.
One of the hardest throwers among draftees at 101 mph, Petty attended the draft in Colorado.
“This is a dream come true and something every kid dreams of, wearing this jersey with this organization with this fan base,” he said on the MLB Network’s draft show. “I mean, I can’t wait.”
Later in the interview he added, “I am just shaking. I mean, this is incredible.”
Petty, who has a commitment to the University of Florida, was 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA in 48 ⅔ innings. He had 99 strikeouts.
He has already rubbed shoulders with the biggest of major league players.
“I talked to Mike Trout, who wished me luck, and he has been a great person to lean on. He is Mike Trout,” Petty said.
In an interview with reporters afterward, Petty talked about his relationship with Trout, whom he said he has gotten to know through a mutual friend.
“He’s the best player in the game. He’s just someone that I kind of looked up to, and then he actually reached out to me halfway through my senior season this year and we kind of just started talking. He gave me his number,” Petty said. “We kept in touch, I would say an hour before the draft he wished me luck, we talked a little bit and he kind of told me about his night that night, and I can completely see where he’s coming from now because this is just unreal.”
Petty, who says he is 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, added that he will be having dinner on Monday with San Diego Padres All-Stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.
“It’s crazy, we’re kind of in the same agency right now, so the company is having everybody together, they’re going to have dinner at the All-Star Game,” Petty said.
The draft, which concludes on Tuesday, is being held in conjunction with the All-Star Game in Denver, and Petty will take it all in.
“I’ve had the best night of my life, honestly. There is nothing more to say,” Petty said. “We have the home run derby and the All-Star Game the next few days. This whole thing is just set up amazing.”