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Pittsburgh Pirates swoop in late to snap up East Lake's Travis MacGregor

Published Jun. 10, 2016

As the first night of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft wore on Thursday, East Lake pitcher Travis MacGregor figured he'd have to wait another day to hear his name called. Then, just minutes before midnight, his phone rang. The Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to make him their second-round pick, 68th overall.

"It was literally a few minutes before they actually picked me," MacGregor said. "I was sweating it out."

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound MacGregor was 7-1 with a 0.92 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 54 innings this season, his first as a full-time starter for the Eagles. His fastball, which reaches the low 90s, is his best pitch.

He had verbally committed to Clemson, but said he will turn professional. The slotted bonus money for the 68th pick is $948,900.

"I'm looking forward to playing professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates," MacGregor said.

The Pirates were one of a handful of teams MacGregor worked out for prior to the draft. The fact that he was selected so high was not a big surprise to East Lake coach Zack Roper.

"The kid has a great work ethic and is extremely determined and self motivated to succeed," Roper said. "You take those attributes, mixed in with his talent, and it's why he's a second-rounder. I couldn't be more proud of him and his family."