Persistence Pays Off for Ex-Prospector Pitcher

Patience is a Virtue for McIntyre, Taken by A’s in 22nd Round of MLB First-Year Draft

By Daniel Dullum

Proving there’s something to be said for perseverance, Aiden McIntyre’s late-blooming baseball career will continue.

McIntyre, a 2014 graduate of Apache Junction High, was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 6. He pitched collegiately, first at San Diego City College and most recently at Holy Names University in Oakland, Calif.

Aiden McIntyre

In 2018, McIntyre led the Pacific West Conference with 105 strikeouts. In only two seasons with the Hawks, McIntyre became HNU’s all-time career strikeout leader with 155. That’s a long way from his two-year varsity pitching career for the Prospectors, where in 2013 and 2014, he was a cumulative 0-4 while striking out three and walking 18. His earned run average as a senior was 7.87.

On his recruiting profile at ncsasports.org, McIntyre, 22, explained his approach to the sport in 2016: “Since I was 8 years old, I knew I wanted to be a baseball player and could see myself involved in the game for the rest of my life. I still do. But as a freshman in high school, I was not as strong as some and was easily overlooked at 5’2” with the face of a 12-year-old.

“Looking back, I’m grateful that nothing was given to me,” he continued.  “I earned my play time and made it hard for coaches to keep me out of the lineup by being coachable, positive, and composed while mastering fundamentals.

“I’m now a 6’4” player, who is still growing, maturing as a pitcher, a strong work ethic, and a hard-earned appreciation for the game.”

McIntyre, the 653rd overall selection, just completed his college career at Holy Names. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound right-handed pitcher became the first HNU player ever drafted by a MLB organization.

Holy Names began its NCAA Division II baseball program in 2013.

As of June 8, McIntyre has yet to sign a contract with the A’s.

“Being the first guy drafted in HNU baseball history is pretty special,” HNU head coach Esteban Contreras said in a statement. “His leadership and hard work will leave a lasting impression with our program for years to come. We hope Aiden is the first of many.”

During his final start of the 2018 season on May 10, McIntyre pitched 8.0 innings, allowing only one run with 10 strikeouts in a 5-1 win by the Hawks over Fresno Pacific, earning PacWest Pitcher of the Week honors. During the 2018 season, McIntyre reached double digits in strikeouts on five occasions.

As a junior, McIntyre was an All-PacWest Academic selection while leading the Hawks with five wins. In his career at HNU, McIntyre was 7-15 with a 5.13 ERA.

McIntyre transferred to HNU from San Diego City College, where he was 5-7 in 15 games – 10 starts – with a 3.82 ERA, 61 strikeouts and 41 walks in 2016.

Contreras said, “I think Aiden will go on to have a great professional career. The best is yet to come. From his first day on campus to the last pitch he threw, nobody has improved as much as Aiden.  He just needed a chance to prove himself.

“Having the hometown Oakland A’s provide that opportunity makes it an even better story, no doubt.”

Photo above: Apache Junction High School product Aiden McIntyre, shown pitching for Holy Names University, worked his way to being selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB First-Year Draft. (Photo courtesy HNU Athletics)

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