For John Szefc, one of the biggest parts of rebuilding the Virginia Tech baseball program involves recruiting high school talent that MLB teams would want to pull straight into their farm system out of high school. The Hokies had a situation like that develop recently when outfield commit Max Dineen was selected in the 35th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.
While it's nice to recruit that level of talent, it's even more important to convince them to come to VT over starting their pro career a few years early, a decision that Dineen made yesterday.
Max Dineen announced on his Twitter that he has chosen to join the Virginia Tech baseball program instead of signing with the Cincinnati Reds. Though the Reds likely didn't offer Dineen as large of a deal as some high schoolers picked significantly earlier receive, the Reds appeared to make Dineen a significant offer to try to get him to choose the minors instead of college baseball.
For the Hokies, they'll be getting arguably the best baseball player in the state of New Jersey in the 2018 class.
As a senior, Dineen hit for a .560 batting average with 15 home runs (which led the state of New Jersey), 47 RBIs, 34 walks according to the Courier-Post. His impressive season earned him First Team All-State honors in his state classification and also earned him a spot on the South Jersey First Team for Philly.com. Perfect Game and Rawlings also named Dineen the Player of the Year in the state of New Jersey.
Dineen was considering some prominent college baseball programs before choosing the Hokies including Clemson, Louisville, East Carolina, Coastal Carolina, and Oklahoma State, another sign of how scouts across the country see Dineen as a unique talent.
Virginia Tech showed signs of progress in John Szefc's first season, but the future looks even brighter with talented players like Max Dineen choosing the Hokies over other major programs and even a shot at the majors.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
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