Bellingham Bells pitcher Mike Connolly, who just finished his junior year at the University of Maine, will not be returning to the East Coast for his senior season of baseball. Connolly came to terms this week with the San Francisco Giants, who selected him in the 27th round (No. 822 overall) of this year’s MLB amateur draft.
56 West Coast League alums and current players were selected in this June’s MLB Draft including Connolly.
Connolly reportedly will receive a signing bonus of approximately $50,000 and will have the cost of his remaining undergraduate education paid for by the organization. He will report soon to San Francisco’s rookie team in the Arizona League.
Initially, the right-handed pitcher did not come to an agreement, so he reported to Bellingham for a season of summer ball, playing alongside Maine Black Bears (not to be confused with the WCL’s Cowlitz Black Bears) teammates Alex Calbick and Luke Morrill (pictured, catcher). In his first appearance for the Bells, Connolly struck out the last two HarbourCats hitters of the night to finalize the 3-1 win over Victoria. Connolly has only played three games for the Bells, and after he officially signs this weekend his time in the WCL will come to a close.
Known for his versatility at Maine, Connolly served as both the starting catcher and a member of the regular pitching rotation. Only 19 players in Division I college baseball have held those two roles simultaneously. This past season with the Maine Black Bears, Connolly took the trait “versatile” to a whole new level – he played nine different positions in one game.
Connolly became the first player in America East history to be awarded all-conference honors at two different positions; he was named the first-team catcher and selected as a second-team pitcher. Connolly also has been named as one of the finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, which will be presented on June 29.