The Bronx is full of young sandlot pitching aces that think they’re the next CC Sabathia, but not many ever get a chance to actually play in the majors. Jose Macias has been given that chance — Macias was drafted by the Oakland Athletics on Monday night, June 7 at the 2010 MLB draft.
Macias played for the Monroe College Mustangs during his first year of college, then went on to become a star at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. The A’s took him in the 18th round (545th pick overall), making him the first Monroe player to be drafted by a major league team.
Of course, you won’t see Macias on ESPN just yet. Like almost all players drafted, he’ll begin in the minors. In fact, he is already on the road with the Athletics rookie team in the Arizona Summer League.
“Everyone comes here with a positive attitude that they’re going to work hard and try to make it out there,” said Macias on the phone from mini-camp in Arizona. But he knows that many players never do make it to the big league.
Macias mentioned that already, he has encountered other New Yorkers down there, including players from Manhattan and Staten Island. But no one quite like him — no one from the Bronx.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Macias, who is 21, came to Monroe from DeWitt Clinton High School, where he captured All-City honors. At Monroe he batted an impressive .373 with 12 doubles, one triple, one HR, 24 RBI, and 36 runs scored. “Jose is an amazing young man with integrity and character,” said coach Luis Melendez. “He worked so hard when he was here, and it’s gratifying to see this part of his dream come true.”
With the help and guidance of Melendez, Macias left Monroe and headed to Franklin Pierce. The university was able to offer him a more advanced athletics program, one that has sent 16 players to the majors before. Most surprising of all is to learn that originally, Macias was a shortstop. He didn’t try pitching until In his junior year at Pierce. “He was a natural on the mound,” said Pierce head baseball coach Jayson King, who facilitated the transition to pitcher in the ace’s senior year. Macias had a 9-1 record, 0.87 ERA, and struck out 118 batters in 92 innings.
Through it all, Macias remains shy and modest. “He’s a gentleman in every way, but a quiet leader. Kind of shy,” King described him. “I honestly thought he had the skills to be drafted as a shortstop, which is what he came to me as. But they drafted him as a pitcher.”
It sounds like Macias is versatile, multi-talented, and will have a lot to offer the Oakland fans. “It feels so great being drafted,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent out here. I just want to play hard.”
Macias’ family is still here in the Bronx. His mother, Macias shared, cried when she heard the news about his being drafted. He said he’ll miss his family but will look forward to seeing them when he gets the chance to be back in New York.
Meanwhile the Bronx will be watching, hoping for his eventual major league debut.