Just one week ago Chase McDonald was taking the field with the Marlins logo across his chest. Tonight, the former Morehead City first baseman makes his professional baseball debut with the Greeneville Astros in Greeneville, TN.
McDonald is slotted in the lineup as the designated hitter for tonight’s game against the Bristol White Sox at Pioneer Park in Greeneville, TN. He reached an agreement with the Astros earlier this week, after being selected with the first pick in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this summer.
The power hitting first baseman had two separate stints with the Marlins, first in 2011 when he was named Coastal Plain League Offensive Player of the year. He finished the 2011 season leading the CPL in batting average (.403), RBIs (51), slugging percentage (.663) and on-base percentage (.469). McDonald also was second in the league in home runs (13) and total bases (120), while his 73 hits was the third-best mark in the CPL during 2011. He also had eight doubles, scored 36 runs and was walked 22 times.
After spending the summer of 2012 with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League, he returned to the CPL and the Marlins in 2013. Prior to signing, McDonald was hitting .256 with four home runs and drove 11 runs.
McDonald is a Greenville, NC native and played his collegiate baseball at East Carolina University where he was a very valuable asset to the Pirates lineup. He played his high school baseball at J.H. Rose High School.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 57 alums - including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander - make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as CPLBaseball).