Thompson alum signs contract with MLB team

Thompson High School and University of Montevallo graduate Aron McRee, shown here playing for the Lima Locos in the summer of 2013, has signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox as an undrafted free agent. (Contributed)

Thompson High School and University of Montevallo graduate Aron McRee, shown here playing for the Lima Locos in the summer of 2013, has signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox as an undrafted free agent. (Contributed)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTEVALLO – University of Montevallo senior Aron McRee has signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

McRee will report to Great Falls, Mont. to begin his professional baseball career with the Great Falls Voyagers, the White Sox Rookie League affiliate in the Pioneer League.

“For me growing up it was always a dream to be a professional baseball player,” McRee said. “Since my freshman year in college I constantly worked every day to get better. It’s kind of just been a dream come true.”

McRee, a native of nearby Alabaster and alum of Thompson High School, said playing collegiately at the University of Montevallo helped prepare him for a career in professional baseball.

“Montevallo is in one of the toughest conferences in (NCAA) Division II,” McRee said. “Every weekend you’re constantly playing a top-25 ranked team. Going out there and pitching against those hitters, it gets you ready for the next level.”

After spending his first three seasons as the Falcons’ primary closer, McRee served as the ace of the Montevallo pitching staff during his senior season with a 7-2 record on the mound and a 4.43 earned run average in 81 1/3 innings across 14 starts.

McRee, a 6-foot right-handed pitcher, finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the Peach Belt Conference in three separate categories. McRee finished fifth in the conference with seven wins and ended the year 10th in the conference with 71 strikeouts. McRee was second in the conference with two complete games this season as well.

McRee registered a career-high 11 strikeouts in a complete-game victory against UNC-Pembroke in late February before recording 10 strikeouts in a complete-game victory against Georgia Southwestern three weeks later during Peach Belt Conference play.

McRee also finished 14th in the conference with his average of 7.86 strikeouts per nine innings during his senior year, and was named a first team All-Peach Belt Conference selection. He was also selected as the Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week once during his senior season.

McRee finished his collegiate career third in the Falcons’ all-time record book with 13 saves in his four seasons at Montevallo.