From the moment he learned to put on a mitt, Ryan McNeil knew what he wanted to do with his life.
Playing the game of baseball has always been a passion for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans reliever, who is now dominating the Carolina League opposition in 2016.
His success on the mound stems from his roots on the west coast — a warm, sunny home of Santa Barbara, California.
“I started playing baseball when I was five years old, playing tee-ball,” McNeil says. “And my older brother [Jeff, New York Mets prospect] he started playing growing up, so my first memories playing baseball are playing wiffle ball in the back yard with him, and I think that’s where my love for the game really started.”
Like many childhood dreams at a young age, McNeil’s projected future was a simple one: be the best, go to the major leagues and become the best player the world has ever seen.
But while his talent might have been good enough to earn his fair share little-league MVP trophies, the reality of the world of Major League scouting hit hard once he entered high-school.
“Going to a pretty small high school, it was kind of tough getting exposure,” he explained. “It’s really tough