Max Hewitt told BarrieToday last month he didn't expect to get chosen in June’s Major League Baseball draft, but he was going to work hard to be signed afterwards.
He was, and to one of the league’s most historic and, currently, one of MLB's hottest teams.
Hewitt learned last week that he was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a video that was posted to Twitter.
The Midhurst resident told BarrieToday he had some communication leading up to the draft with a handful of teams and was hoping to get picked on Day 2 of the draft.
“I was confident I was going to get picked on at least Day 3. I would’ve loved to have heard my name called in the draft, but I knew that this (being signed after) was a likely scenario,” Hewitt said. “The following days were tough as teams were figuring out what they needed out of the free-agent market and were busy sorting through and signing who they picked, but my coaches told me to be patient and that there was going to be an opportunity somewhere. And if not, I was determined keep pushing and find a way.”
When he was informed he had been offered a contract by the Dodgers, Hewitt admits to being pretty emotional about it.
“To be signed by one of the most storied franchises in sports is such an honour and a blessing. So much work, sacrifice from my family, and so many prayers went into this and in that moment I ultimately just felt gratitude,” Hewitt said. “It would be impossible to fit on one page the list of people who helped me on and off the field to get to this point.”
Hewitt, who is a catcher but will play any infield position he's asked, was born in Barrie and moved to Midhurst at a young age with his parents. He started playing baseball at the age of five and played for several years in the Barrie Minor Baseball Association (BMBA).
Hewitt graduated from Eastview Secondary School in 2015 and, at the time, didn’t have any offers for baseball so he took a year off to train.
In November 2015, Hewitt got a call from Connors State College in Oklahoma, inviting him for a visit.
After that, he was off to Oklahoma State University (OSU) in the fall of 2017. Hewitt began playing the following spring.
The 23-year-old Hewitt recently received his bachelor of arts in sociology from OSU.
The next step for Hewitt will be reporting to the spring training complex in Glendale, Ariz., for physicals, training and assignment to a minor league affiliate.
While he knows his journey is just beginning, Hewitt can’t help but be sentimental about it all.
“Every kid who plays baseball at one point stands in their backyard, dreaming of stepping onto a major league field and hitting a game-winning home run to win the World Series, or striking out the last batter to win the game,” Hewitt said. “I still feel like that kid every time I get to be on the field, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity to now take this next step toward my goals in baseball.
"I have a lot of work in front of me, but there is no place I’d rather be than at the yard doing just that.”