HARRISONBURG, VA. (Press Release) -- James Madison senior third baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) was selected by the New York Yankees in the 10th round with the 302nd overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday evening.
“The scout called me 10 minutes prior to [the selection] and said they could be taking me,” noted Ty, shortly following his selection. “So I just tried to think negative so I wouldn’t get too excited or let down. When it happened it was a pretty exciting experience for myself and my family.”
That family includes JMU head coach Spanky McFarland, who just finished his 17th season with the Diamond Dukes with the last four squads including his son. He said, “Obviously I’m very excited for him. It’s a combination of excitement and relief because when somebody wants something really bad and works hard for it there’s an opportunity for a letdown. We’ve had other players over the years who should have gotten the opportunity and didn’t. So this was excitement and relief. I’m happy for him.”
Ty McFarland was the 75th overall draft selection in JMU baseball’s program history. He was the first JMU draft selection ever by the Yankees, though three players have previously signed as undrafted free agents with New York. He is the 45th position player drafted in program history and the 29th to be selected in the first 10 rounds.
The fact that it was the Yankees on the phone wasn’t much of a surprise to Ty, who had heard plenty from the American League squad all season. He commented, “They had kept in touch with me the most throughout the season so I thought that was my best shot of going with any team was the Yankees.”
Ty attended a pre-draft workout with the Yankees in Tampa and performed well, increasing the likelihood that it would be the Yankees on the dialing end of any in-draft phone calls. Spanky McFarland noted, “He had heard a lot and he had a pre-draft workout with them in Tampa and showed well with the bat and ran pretty well. His arm proved out well. I think he helped himself by doing well with that. He got to face some Minor League pitchers and did pretty well. That was a good sign that they might be the ones to get him.”
As a senior, McFarland collected First Team All-CAA recognition after batting .317 and starting all 53 games with 72 hits, 47 runs, 12 doubles, nine home runs, 37 RBIs and 21 walks. He led the Dukes in batting average, slugging percentage (.507), runs, hits, home runs, total bases (115), at bats (227) and starts. He also led JMU with 21 multiple-hit games and was third with nine games of two or more RBIs.
A four-year starter in the field, McFarland finished fifth in program history with 766 at bats while his season total fell just two shy of the top 10. He ranked third in the CAA this year in total bases, fourth in hits, fourth in home runs, fifth in runs scored and eighth in RBIs. His nine home runs, 0.17 home runs per game, 115 total bases and 0.89 runs per game each sat within the top 100 in the nation.
For his career, McFarland hit .315 in 196 games with 180 runs scored, 46 doubles, five triples, 15 home runs, 131 RBIs, 342 total bases and 105 walks. He fell two shy of the top 10 for runs scored. In addition to being First Team All-CAA as a senior, he was previously Third Team All-CAA as a freshman and sophomore. He was also a Freshman All-American as a freshman.
As the son of a college coaching veteran and as a representative of a high school program at Turner Ashby that has produced numerous talented players, Ty McFarland has been around guys getting drafted most of his life. For him, that only elevated the enjoyment of his own experience, “My whole life has been working up to this and to see all the other guys go before me in years past, it makes everything worth it now.“