Clemson outfielder Seth Beer has never been to Texas, but the Houston Astros’ latest first-round draft pick hopes to spend plenty of time in the Lone Star State soon.
Beer finished his incredible college career on Sunday when Clemson’s season came to a disappointing end with a home loss to Vanderbilt in a regional. Tears flowed from Beer’s face as he hugged each of his teammates before walking off the field for the final time in a Clemson uniform.
Less than 24 hours after leaving the field heartbroken, Beer gathered with family members, coaches and teammates to watch the MLB draft Monday night and was emotional for a different reason: His longtime goal of being a professional baseball player and first-round pick was accomplished.
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“It’s something you dream about as a kid. Growing up, that’s the kind of stuff that drives me every day,” Beer said Tuesday. “To see my family there with me to experience it was just something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
Beer has one year of eligibility remaining, but if he returns to Clemson, he loses leverage as far as being able to negotiate a signing bonus and contract with teams in 2019.
The No. 28 overall pick in this year’s draft has a slot value of approximately $2.4 million. That represents an estimated signing bonus that could end up being higher or lower.
Beer plans to sit down with his adviser and family and make a final decision sometime in the next several weeks, but he spoke with the media on Tuesday and sounded like someone who has played his final game at Clemson.
“It’s almost like it was the ending of something incredible and special in aspects that I can’t describe. This is a place I love. This is a place I poured my heart and soul into when it came to on the field, and I knew my teammates did too. That’s why it really hurt when they finally had to tell us we can’t play anymore this season. It’s done,” Beer said. “That’s a dagger to the heart. That hurts.
“But I think right when I was walking back to the dugout for the last time, and my teammates were pouring out of the dugout to give me hugs, I was just like this is a brotherhood for life. And I’m going to remember every single one of those guys and everything that we’ve experienced together. I’m just so happy and blessed to be able to come through Clemson during this time.”
Beer will begin his professional career in the minor leagues, but his goal is to play Major League Baseball in the next few years.
If and when Beer gets an opportunity to play for the Houston Astros, he will be in the same city as a couple of fellow former Clemson stars.
The Houston Texans football team is led by former Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson and receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Watson took to Twitter to welcome Beer to Houston, while Hopkins sent Beer a direct message on Twitter congratulating him and sending Beer his phone number.
“It was really cool … I’m like, ‘Wow. I feel like a little fan girl again' … telling my dad, who loves football, and he’s like, ‘Really? You have his number?’ I was like ‘Nah, you can’t have it dad,’ ” Beer said, laughing. “(Hopkins) was just like ‘Congratulations,’ and he said ‘When you do get here and we’re talking, make sure to reach out to me.’ And I said ‘Of course and thanks for all the support.’ He’s a great guy.”
Beer, who is known for his work ethic, is immediately getting to work in the batting cages with a wooden bat.
The Astros won a World Series last year behind young stars who were developed in their system. Beer, who watched every pitch of last year’s World Series, hopes he is the next high Houston draft pick to help the Astros win the title.
“Once I heard my name, being told that I was going to go there, I was just thinking about those games and going ‘Wow, what would it be like to play with some of those great players?’ ” Beer said. “Obviously, right now their track record is incredible when it comes to what they’re doing and they’re a great group of respectable gentlemen when it comes to how they go about their business. ... I really feel like this is a great fit."