McDavid earns 'Don't Count Him Out' Award

Right-hander selected by Angels with final pick of 2015 Draft

McDavid earns 'Don't Count Him Out' Award

NEW YORK -- Technical difficulties couldn't keep Jacob McDavid from his destiny.

McDavid, a senior reliever for Oral Roberts University, learned midday on Wednesday that he could be selected in one of the final rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft. Little did he know how long he'd wait.

McDavid, a right-hander from Queen Creek, Ariz., was taken with the final pick on Wednesday, No. 1,215, and earned the 17th annual Don't Count Him Out Award from MLB.com. McDavid was drafted by the Angels, and he intends to pursue the opportunity.

"I wasn't really relying on it," McDavid said of being drafted. "I was just keeping up with it. I got a call with seven rounds left, and they told me they'd be in contact with me. Then it got down to it, and I was the last one. I got down to the skin of my teeth. I was watching on my computer, and I had the Tracker pulled up. It got down to the end, and then my computer froze. But it came back on and I heard my name called."

McDavid, 22, said it was a surreal experience to hear his name called. He would have loved to celebrate with his family, but only his younger brother was around to hug. McDavid's parents are away on a church mission, but he said they'd be thrilled to hear the news.

Four years ago, when McDavid graduated from Williams Field High School, this possibility wasn't in the offing. But he followed his dreams to a stint at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, then he pursued them to Oral Roberts University before the Angels came calling in the Draft.

And now the ball's in his court.

"As of now I'm going to pursue it," said McDavid of signing with the Angels. "It's been a lifelong dream, and being a senior, I don't have any more baseball opportunities. This is the one."

McDavid's older brother played semi-pro baseball, but he has a chance to be the first professional athlete in his family. He started to gather some momentum at community college, and that's when he started to believe he could follow his talent to a higher level.

"It's been pretty crazy," he said of his four-year ride. "I didn't have a lot of looks out of high school, but I went to a community college that I knew my brother had attended. I knew the coach there, and I got in and played pretty well. I caught some looks after my second year and decided to continue on to Oral Roberts because they gave me the best opportunity. It's been a fun ride, and I'm just really excited."

McDavid, who posted a 3-3 record with five saves and a 3.03 ERA in two seasons at Oral Roberts, knows he has plenty of work ahead of him. He has a few semesters left of college before he can graduate, but he said his studies can wait until after he's fully pursued his baseball dreams.

"I really love baseball," he said of his passion. "The game can have its ups and downs, of course, and it makes you question if this is really what you want to do. But I stuck with it and I had a lot of fun. It's just something I don't want to give up, and I'm excited and happy that I get to keep going."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.