SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Two years ago, after Quinn McDaniel's freshman season with the University of Maine baseball team, the San Francisco Giants were the first Major League Baseball club to reach out to him.
McDaniel, who was selected 153rd overall, played three years at Maine and helped the Black Bears to the America East championship this season, the program's first since 2011.
“I am excited, definitely a really cool moment and I am honestly still kind of taking it all in, it really hasn’t hit me yet,” McDaniel said Monday, shortly after hearing from the Giants. “The Giants were the team I heard from the most. There were some other teams that were in the mix until the end, right down to that pick. The Giants ended up pulling the trigger in the fifth round, and I was beyond excited.”
On Monday afternoon, the Giants selected McDaniel, a 2020 graduate of Marshwood High School, in the fifth round of MLB's First-Year Player Draft.
The first two rounds of the draft were held Sunday, the next eight were on Monday, and the final 10 rounds are scheduled for Tuesday. Matthew Minckler, a 2023 graduate of Portsmouth High School who is committed to Virginia Tech University, may get drafted on Tuesday.
McDaniel is the first Seacoast area player to be drafted since Exeter High School graduates Cody Morissette and Ben Malgeri were both selected in the 2021. Morissette, who played three years at Boston College, was selected in the second round, 52nd overall, by the Miami Marlins, while Malgeri, who played at Northeastern University, was selected in the 18th round by the Detroit Tigers.
McDaniel celebrates with family
After a morning workout, McDaniel spent Monday watching the draft unfold with his parents, his two brothers, and his girlfriend.
“It was great I got the time to soak all of this in with them,” McDaniel said. “I am super excited I was able to share the moment with all of them and kind of just take it all in.”
Later Monday night, McDaniel planned to hit with some of his friends, including Portsmouth High School graduate and Vanderbilt outfielder Cal Hewitt.
“It’ll be great to catch up with (Hewitt),” McDaniel said. “He’s been part of this with me for the last few years. It will be good to go take some swings with him. There’s a lot of work ahead.”
Contract negotiations with Giants
The slot value for the 153rd pick is $400,600. McDaniel said he expects to agree to terms with the Giants for “pretty close” to that number.
The Giants were one of 10 teams McDaniel met with at last month’s MLB Combine at Chase Field in Phoenix.
“I got to know the higher-ups and I definitely think my meeting down there went pretty well,” McDaniel said. “I guess it did.”
The Giants have two rookie league teams in the Arizona Complex League. Their Single-A affiliate is in San Jose, California; and their High-A team is in Eugene, Oregon.
McDaniel said he should know by week’s end which team will be his first stop.
Familiar faces in San Francisco's minor-league system
McDaniel knows two prospects in the Giants system pretty well. His former University of Maine teammate Nick Sinacola was selected by the Giants in the seventh round of the 2021 draft.
Secondly, Jared Dupere, who hit with McDaniel, and Cody Morissette and Ben Malgeri, at Powerhouse Sports in Seabrook, was selected in the 13th round out of Northeastern in 2021. Both Morissette and Malgeri, Exeter High School graduates, were also drafted in 2021.
“Both (Sinacola and Dupere) say great things about the Giants organization," McDaniel said. "I am looking forward to be a part of that and keep developing my game.”
Inside his three-year career with the Black Bears
McDaniel saw his junior season with the Black Bears end with a 19-10 loss to the University of Louisiana on June 3 in the Coral Gables Regional.
As a freshman, McDaniel started in 41 games for the Black Bears in 2021, batted .267, drove in 20 runs and scored 28. He never left the starting lineup, starting in all 102 games in his final two seasons.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Maine's Quinn McDaniel selected by San Francisco Giants in MLB Draft