On Tuesday Clemson center fielder Chase Pinder found a new home in the St. Louis Cardinals organization when he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.
“They had contacted me probably a round before it had actually happened,” Pinder told The Clemson Insider. “They had initially said we would try to get a deal in the fifth round, but that didn’t work out so they said that they would definitely get me in the seventh round.
“Honestly, that was the team that I thought best fit my skillset, the way I play the game. First of all, I couldn’t believe it until they actually said my name. I literally waited until they said it and then that’s when I actually believed it. I was ecstatic. I was so happy. It was a stressful few days but it was well worth it.”
Pinder made a name for himself in his three years at Clemson. His consistent play in centerfield and his bat really made him a catalyst in the Tigers’ lineup. Although his time in the Tiger uniform is over, he will always appreciate the opportunities and memories the school and baseball program provided him with.
“Clemson has been great to me and I will always be a Tiger but there is a time where it’s the right opportunity for me and I’m ready to move forward,” he said. “Clemson will always be in my heart and I’ll be back there to visit and still be involved.”
Pinder is looking forward to the opportunities his professional baseball career will bring him. He plans to do whatever it takes to prove the Cardinals made the right choice in selecting him.
“I’m just looking at playing my best and showing the Cardinals organization what I got and proving to them why they drafted me,” said Pinder. “Apparently they saw something in me that reflects how they do things in their program and I’m excited to show them.
“Obviously the main goal is to get to the big leagues, but you have to go through each level to get there. So I’m just looking to do my best in each level and hopefully that will translate to me moving up each year or each level, whatever it may take.”
Pinder is thankful for every coach who helped him get to this position, but is especially thankful for his family.
“I wouldn’t be here without my dad, my brother and my mom,” he said. “They have guided me and allowed me to be where I am at today. They’ve put me in the best situation, supported me through every situation, every obstacle that has come my way. I wouldn’t be here without my parents and my family.
“I also wouldn’t be here without Coach (Monte) Lee. I want to give a special thanks to Coach (Jack) Leggett for giving me the opportunity to further my baseball career at Clemson. I wouldn’t be here without him. But expanding on that, Coach Lee, Coach (Bradley) LeCroy, Coach (Greg) Starbuck. Those relationships will never die and they’re with me forever. I’ll always have people to go to and they’ve made me a better person and better baseball player.”