MLB Draft: Gillies realizes dream

Darin Gillies, who recently graduated from Arizona State University, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 10th round of the MLB Amateur Draft.

When Darin Gillies was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 10th round—pick No. 305 overall—in Tuesday’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, a flood of emotions enveloped him.
And with good reason.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” said Gillies, a 2011 San Benito High graduate. “It’s awesome, a blessing and something I’ve always wanted. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and a fun ride.”
No kidding. Two weeks ago, Gillies earned his degree from Arizona State University.
The 6-foot-4, 214-pound right-hander had a solid career at ASU, which used him both as a starter and reliever.
In four years, Gillies was 9-16 with a 4.62 ERA over 84 appearances (28 starts). This past season, Gillies pitched 49 1/3 innings, finishing 3-6 with a 3.83 ERA. Gillies was actually on the phone with Haybalers coach Billy Aviles—the two talk regularly—right before he got drafted.
Gillies, who already has an agent, said he was going to sign a contract Tuesday night.
“I can’t wait to get things started,” he said. “From what I’ve heard in the past, (signed draftees) go to the team’s complex a week after the draft to work you out. Then you’re placed on a roster based on the organization’s needs. There’s a chance I could be going to A-ball, the Arizona League, or somewhere else.”
Gillies said he wouldn’t have gotten to this point had it not been for several influential figures in his life, including his parents, Aviles, Michael Luna, Mike Granger, Robert Fabing, Joe Kenyon and Daniel Barone.
Gillies had a particularly emotional moment when he received a message from Trevor Raisbeck, the younger brother of Tyler, who was a friend and coach to Gillies growing up.
Raisbeck and Colton Moag—another one of Gillies’ friends—were in the same car when they died in an accident last September.
“Trevor shot me a text telling me how proud he and his family were of me, and that they were thinking about me and rooting for me,” Gillies said. “He told me how proud Ty would’ve been.”
Tyler coached Gillies on one of Hollister’s Babe Ruth teams several years ago. In memory of his two friends, Gillies wore their initials on his hat this season.
“You’re reminded that things can be taken away from you at any time,” Gillies said. “They were near and dear to my heart.”
Two weeks ago, Gillies had no idea of his draft status. A couple of days ago, however, Gillies talked with a Seattle Mariners scout who covers the Arizona region.
“They told me they had interest, but you never know what’s going to happen,” Gillies said. “I understood the process, and I was fortunate to get drafted on the second day. If I didn’t get drafted, I would’ve continued to pursue my dream either way. Getting drafted just made it that much more rewarding.”
When Gillies graduated from ASU with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and criminology, he knew he had made his parents, Paul and Janice, proud.
“I promised my mom I would get a degree, and I’m proud of that,” he said. “My parents mean everything to me. They’ve made so many sacrifices for me, and I’m just glad they’re able to share this moment with me. Hopefully it’s the next step toward becoming a big league baseball player.”

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