Moreland Decides to go Pro

As late as a week ago all indications pointed to Mitch Moreland playing his senior season at Mississippi State, but the Texas Rangers who drafted Mitch in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball draft, came in with a late offer that was just too much for Mitch to pass up.

Mitch Moreland Profile Page

"Last week the Texas Rangers scouting director watched Mitch in a game. And the Rangers then made another offer that doubled their initial offer," said Charles Moreland, Mitch's dad. "They were pretty fair with him considering the round he was drafted in."

Fair enough that Mitch felt it was the right offer at the right time.

"The reason Mitch chose Mississippi State was not only for the education but because he wanted to play pro ball some day," explained Charles. "And he felt that opportunity had come. The Rangers not only gave him a very fair offer, but they also included three semesters of college expenses in addition to the offer."

But even with the new offer it was still a tough decision for Mitch.

"He and I talked four times during the week," said Charles. "He considered it all week. The last time we talked I could tell he was ready to go pro. It was like when he visited Ole Miss and Alabama, then visited Mississippi State. He came back after his Mississippi State visit and told me that's he was going to sign with State. I could sense the same thing during that last conversation that we had."

Then, the final decision came Friday.

"He made his decision Friday at 12:30," said Charles. "He had a game to play that day, so while driving to the game he called the Texas Rangers scout, Jeff Woods, and told him that he was going to sign with them. He told Jeff that he was headed to a game and would call him afterwards."

But the Rangers had other ideas.

"The Rangers' player coordinator called Mitch one and a half hours later and told him that he had a plane ticket ready for him at 8 a.m. Saturday morning to Spokane, Washington, which is where their summer A ball team is," said Charles. "They were signing him to be their starting first baseman at Spokane and wanted him there as soon as possible."

To say the least, the past week has been a whirlwind of activity for Mitch.

"The same Wednesday that the Rangers scouting director was at the game (MSU head) coach (Ron) Polk was there also," said Charles. "Even at that time Mitch still thought he was coming back to State. He told Coach Polk he really hadn't gotten the kind of offer from Texas that would change his mind."

But that offer did come not too long afterwards. And now Mitch is about to live a dream that he's had since he was a child playing baseball.

"It's always been his dream to play pro ball and now he has that opportunity," said Charles. "Mitch is real excited about playing pro ball."

And the Mississippi State fans, while they will miss seeing Mitch at first base and on the mound, wish him only the best.

But don't despair Bulldog fans, Mitch may not be the only Moreland that ends up playing in the maroon and white. He's got a little sister, Mallory, who's not too bad of a softball player.

Charles, who called me late Saturday night to confirm Mitch's signing, explained the lateness of the call.

"We've been at Eupora all day watching our daughter, Mallory, play softball," said Charles, of his 11th grade daughter who plays both slow and fast pitch softball. "Amory played three games today against Cleveland, J.Z. George and Eupora."

And she didn't do too badly ... to say the least.

"She was 2-for-2 with 2 walks in the first game, 4-for-5 in the second and 2-for-3 in the third," said Charles.

I think it's safe to say that Charles and his entire family have had an eventful and exciting weekend.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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