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Brad Mccann (3B) Profile

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He (Brad) has whipped Georgia, the host at the Athens Regional, with 12-for-16 hitting and nine RBI in four career games. Lately, Howie McCann cannot stop gushing at the two clutch home runs Brad hit at the ACC tournament, especially the shot off Georgia Tech's Micah Owings.


"That is by far the best ball he's ever hit in his life," Howie said. "How far do you think that went? I had scouts saying 450, 470. It's been a long road, but everything's worked out for the best. Most important, Bradley's happy."





Sounds like a clutch hitter w/ power. My type of player



Usually when a person is about to make a life-altering decision, they get to take their time. They can research it, go over the pros and cons of each side and then make an informed, well-thought out choice.

It didn?t quite work that way for Brad McCann.

When his life-altering decision was presented to him, he had five seconds to decide.

Five seconds.

In June of 2001, McCann was one of the highest-rated prep shortstops in the country. The Duluth grad was told he would possibly go as high as the first round in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

So he listened to the draft on the Internet and was surprised through three rounds when his name hadn?t been called and his phone hadn?t rung.

Then, when the fourth round began, the decision came.

The Cincinnati Reds called and told McCann they wanted to take him in the fourth round and were offering a signing bonus well into six figures.

They wanted to know if he would sign at their offered price, and then told him he had exactly five seconds to decide.

?We had a set thing,? McCann said of his asking price. ?Teams knew that, and (the money the Reds offered) wasn?t that, so I said, ?No.??

He also figured another team would call. After all, the Duluth grad was considered one of the top hitting infielders in the entire country. So certainly some other club would be interested.

But the phone didn?t ring again. And all 50 rounds went by without McCann?s name being called.

?The media stuff is cheap,? he said. ?People were telling me I was the third (best) shortstop in the country, people were calling me a first or second-round pick.

?Nobody really had me clued in with everything. The draft is just so unpredictable.?

And unkind, in McCann?s case.

If things weren?t tough enough for him, after not being drafted at all ? most teams figured he was unsignable after the fourth or fifth round ? he got another dose of bad news. Ron Polk, who was the head coach at Georgia and an old friend of his dad Howie, was leaving Athens to head back to Mississippi State.

McCann had signed with the Bulldogs almost solely because of Polk. Now he was leaving and McCann suddenly had to wonder about his college future as well.

He didn?t want to go to a Polk-less Georgia team and pro ball was out of the question when he wasn?t drafted.

So he enrolled at Gulf Coast Community College, allowing him to re-enter the draft the following season.

Then midway through the year, he injured his hand and was forced to miss almost 30 games.

?I?m sitting there thinking, ?Come on. Is everything going to go wrong at one time??? McCann said.

Nine months earlier, he was a simple ?yes? away from being the Cincinnati Reds? fourth-round pick, with plenty of money in his bank account. Now he was at a junior college and he was injured, having no idea what the future held for him.

McCann?s stock fell after the injury and he wasn?t drafted until the 22nd round of the 2002 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

?I felt so bad for him,? said younger brother Brian, who was selected in the second round of the same draft by the Atlanta Braves. ?I talked to him about it a couple of times and he called me up. But going to Gulf Coast, that junior college, was probably the best thing he?s ever done.?

The best thing it did for McCann was allow him to choose another four-year university to attend, other than Georgia, which he had no real interest in after Polk?s departure.

He decided on Clemson.

?It just felt right to me,? McCann said. ?I talked with coach (Jack) Leggett, he recruited me out of high school, and he knew I could play a little bit.?

Turns out he can play a lot. And it turns out, Clemson was a perfect fit for McCann.

He became one of the most feared hitters in the conference in 2003, leading the Tigers in batting average (.347), RBIs (67) and finishing second in home runs (nine). His offensive exploits led to him being named the second-team All-ACC third baseman.

Now he?s in the prestigious Cape Cod League, for the second year in a row, with other college stars from around the country. If he has a good showing over the summer, and another monster year for the Tigers, McCann will probably be one of the top college prospects in the 2004 draft.

But he?s not thinking about that right now.

In fact, he?s more interested in talking about his younger brother Brian, who recently played in the South Atlantic League All-Star game and is leading the Rome Braves in home runs with 11.

?He?s a stud,? McCann said of his little brother. ?And he?s not so little anymore. He?s 215 pounds and he?s a stud. He?s making us real proud.?

And you can sense how much the older brother really cares about the younger one when he?s talking about the difficulty he went through during his draft experience.

?I was praying to God it didn?t happen to him,? Brad said.

It didn?t. Brian was drafted in the second round by the Braves and signed for $750,000 on the same day his future roommate, and Parkview grad Jeff Francoeur also signed with Atlanta.

Brian didn?t have to go through the roller-coaster ride that Brad did during the draft process. And much of that can be attributed to lessons learned by the McCanns from the year before.

?We were aware,? Brad said. ?And more prepared. I didn?t want him to go through what I did. High-school wise, I was more mature than he was, and so I?m glad it happened to me. I wouldn?t have been able to take it if it happened to him.

?I love that kid more than anything. I?m so happy for him.?

The feeling is mutual. Little brother cared so much about how his older brother was doing in his first ACC season that he would decline offers from his friends to go out in Orlando so he could get back to his hotel room, log on the Internet, and see how his brother was doing in his game.

?All my friends would get on me down in spring training,? Brian said. ?Like Jeff would get on me for going straight home to check on his stats on the Internet. To see how he was doing. And I was just hoping he would do exactly what he did this year, which is have a great season.?

A great season that got himself right back in position to be a potential high-round draft pick.

?Yeah, here comes the process all over again,? Brad joked.

But this time he?ll be ready for it. And that decision, that five-second decision that most teenagers would replay in their head a thousand times, will be a distant memory.

?He handles everything well,? said his mom, Sherry McCann. ?I?m sure now he realizes (not signing with the Reds) was the best thing he could?ve done. He loves Clemson.

?And he?s happy. It?s one of those things where if you?re kids are happy, then you?re happy.?

?Obviously, you think about the stuff you?ve done,? Brad said. ?And what woulda, shoulda, coulda, but I talked to my family, and really, I told myself whatever happens, happens. Everything is meant to be and I don?t regret anything.

?It was the best decision I ever made.?

And he made it in less than five seconds.




Sounds like we might have gotten a steal in the 6th round.

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