McCusker surprised himself with breakout year at Folsom Lake, leaning towards staying in school
One year ago, he chose a junior college simply to get reps.
On Wednesday, Carson McCusker fulfilled a childhood dream. And he may have to put it on hold.
McCusker was graduating from Spanish Springs last June and on his way to Folsom Lake Community College. He only received one other offer. That, from another junior college.
One year later, he’s become one of the most highly touted junior college players on the west coast and was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 26th round (774th overall) of the Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday.
“I’ve just been answering texts and calls and just like talking to family members and really soaking it all in,” McCusker said hours after getting picked. “Because it’s been just amazing, just incredible.”
His success and rise was unforeseen even to him.
“I had no idea any of this was going to happen,” McCusker said.
Something else he didn’t predict? Preparing to say no to professional baseball – for now.
He was the only player in the Big 8 Conference to finish in the top three in batting average (.371, second), home runs (10, tied for second), and RBIs (50, third). Due to his massive 6-7, 220-pound frame, the freshman earned comparisons to New York’s Aaron Judge (6-7, 282) and Pittsburgh’s Corey Hart (6-6, 240). His stock skyrocketed.
Scouts told him he was talented enough to go in the sixth round. He, and his advisor, landed on a $300,000 signing bonus asking price. Then McCusker took a step back.
“After giving it some thought, I decided it wasn’t enough to pull me away from school,” McCusker said. “I just want to go to school.”
That’s what he told the teams that expressed their interest. He thought that would force him off draft boards across the league. He didn’t even follow much of the draft and was at the gym when his suddenly vibrant phone made him aware.
He has two standing offers from Fresno State and University of the Pacific and will take a visit to Oklahoma State on Thursday.
A decision regarding his future, whether it be to sign with the Brewers, commit to a four-year program, or even return to Folsom Lake for a sophomore season, could come as soon as this weekend. He’s not ruling out Milwaukee entirely, but the Brewers have a lot of negotiating to do in a short amount of time.
“It just depends, but I’m still pretty set on going to school,” McCusker said. “They (Brewers) are definitely understanding of it … They were one of the big teams that were on me. (They) were definitely one of the (teams) we contacted and said, ‘hey, I’m going to school.’ So, I wouldn’t bother doing anything high (in the draft).”
He remains unsure of his summer plans. If a spot in the Northwoods League (a collegiate summer league in the Midwest widely regarded as the second best in the country) opens up, he will take it.
It’s fitting that way. There is more uncertainty than certainty regarding which uniform(s) McCusker will wear next.
What is known, is that next time the Spanish Springs grad is eligible for the draft, he won’t be at the gym. He’ll be ready.