SAN FRANCISCO -- Cal State Fullerton left-hander John Gavin was a few picks behind as he followed Tuesday's installment of the MLB Draft. His excitement soared when he received a text message from Cory Vanderhook, Fullerton's director of baseball operations.The text read simply, "Giants," followed by what Gavin described as
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cal State Fullerton left-hander John Gavin was a few picks behind as he followed Tuesday's installment of the MLB Draft. His excitement soared when he received a text message from Cory Vanderhook, Fullerton's director of baseball operations.
The text read simply, "Giants," followed by what Gavin described as "a bunch of exclamation points."
Life became one great big exclamation point for Gavin minutes later when the Giants drafted him in the eighth round. It just so happens that Gavin, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound junior majoring in communications, is a lifelong Giants fan who was born in San Francisco, grew up in San Jose and deepened his Bay Area roots by graduating from Mountain View's St. Francis High School.
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Gavin ran the gamut of emotions as it sank in that his favorite baseball team had given him a chance to play professionally.
"It was first, shock," said Gavin, who confessed to wearing a Madison Bumgarner jersey as he spoke to reporters on a conference call. "Then I started yelling and jumping up and down. And then I actually broke down and started crying. I mean, this has been a dream of mine since I was 5 years old. ... I still don't believe that this is actually happening."
It did, and for good reason. Gavin maintained admirable consistency for the Titans while helping them reach the College World Series twice in three years. He finished 7-3 with a 3.66 ERA as a freshman, 6-3 with a save and a team-leading 2.09 ERA as a sophomore, then 8-2, 2.67 with 89 strikeouts in 101 innings this season.
Gavin's repertoire includes a fastball that travels at about 89-92 mph and can touch 94, a slider and a changeup which he considered his out pitch.
Should Gavin sign with San Francisco (Milwaukee drafted him in the 39th round in 2014 but he opted for college), he'll get the opportunity to personally add to his collection of treasured Giants-related events. He recalled attending a Giants-Dodgers game as a second-grader, reveling in the thrill of the 2010 World Series triumph, skipping school to attend the 2012 World Series parade and defying his teammates, who he said rooted unanimously for the Royals, when San Francisco won the 2014 Series.
"There are so many memories," he said. "It is absolutely incredible that this is happening."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.